Interactive: U.S. Worker Confidence Remains 10-points higher than last year

  • jobs & the economy
  • September 06, 2012

NEW YORK, N.Y. September 6, 2012 – According to the latest Randstad Employee Confidence Index, employees are overall more confident than this time last year. Compared to August 2011, confidence levels measured more than 10-points higher—indicating a much higher sense of optimism in the job market, the strength of the economy, and in their personal employment situations. Measuring at 51.6 in August 2012, the Index is slightly down from July, although a few of the macroeconomic indicators rose.

“While we saw a slight decline in the overall Index, the movement is minimal, and worker confidence in the strength of the economy and job availability continues to remain strong,” said Jim Link, managing director of Human Resources for Randstad U.S. “When you look specifically at this time last year, we see that U.S. employees are reporting much higher levels of confidence—double digit increases, in fact, when it comes to the economy. As we head towards the fourth quarter and the November election, we expect to see more of the same when it comes to U.S. job growth. Growth will likely still occur, just at a slower pace than many had hoped to see in the remaining few months of the year. That said, healthcare, education and professional services, are likely to remain some of the strongest sectors.”

The online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad. It surveyed 1,111 employed U.S. adults, aged 18 and over between August 14-16, 2012.

A Look Inside the Report:

Employee Confidence Relatively Unchanged

  • The Employee Confidence Index was down by 0.8-points in August, registering at 51.6; measuring just above the year low of 51.1 in June 2012

Employees More Confident in Economy, Job Market, Year-Over-Year
  • There was a 24 percentage-point-decline in employees who believe the economy is getting weaker in August 2012 (39 percent) versus August 2011 (63 percent)
  • Nineteen percent of employees believe there are more jobs available, up from just nine percent in August 2011
  • Thirty-five percent of employees were confident in their ability to find a new job in August 2011 versus 43 percent in August 2012

Percentage of Workers Likely to Look for New Jobs Dips Slightly Over the Month; Unchanged from August 2011
  • The percentage of workers likely to job search decreased by three percentage points this month to 35 percent. At the same time, this number remains unchanged from August 2011

Worker Sentiment around Job Security Remains Strong
  • Employees continue to indicate high levels of security in their current jobs, with 71 percent indicating it is not likely they will lose their jobs (versus 74 percent in July 2012)

The Randstad U.S. Employee Confidence Index measures workforce trends across the country since 2004.


This August 2012 Randstad Employment Tracker was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad between August 14-16, 2012 among a U.S. sample of 1,111 employed adults, aged 18 years and older. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education, and region. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

 All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.