Workers Uncertain About Job Market; Index Remains Above 50

  • jobs & the economy
  • May 31, 2012

NEW YORK, N.Y. May 31, 2012– U.S. worker confidence pulled back slightly in May, decreasing 1.1 points to 53.2, according to the latest Randstad U.S. Employee Confidence Index. Across the board, the survey reveals that more employees took a middle of the road stance when it comes to the economy, job market, and their personal employment situation.


“Despite the slight decrease seen in our latest report, we shouldn’t disregard the fact that our Index is still indicative of positive confidence levels,” said Joanie Ruge, SVP & chief employment analyst for Randstad Holding. “Clearly, what we are seeing in our survey, as well as in other broader economic indicators, is caution being exercised from both an employee and employer perspective. Although this is to be expected given the depth of the recession, the slower pace in U.S. job creation seen over the last few months, and headlines around the European financial crisis, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the economy is still improving. In fact, the unemployment rate for college degreed workers stands at only four percent. As the economic recovery remains choppy, we are seeing more companies rely upon contingent labor to help maintain workforce variability and hire hard-to-find talent for high demand positions. This means that for many job seekers, including new college graduates, pursuing contingent or flexible work assignments may mean getting a foot in the door to employment, and even long-term permanent employment.”

The online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad. It surveyed 1,204 employed U.S. adults, aged 18 and over between May 16-18, 2012.

Look Inside the Report:

Employee Confidence Index Slightly Dips for Second Straight Month

  • The Employee Confidence Index was down again in May, registering at 53.2, after falling from its four year high 55.5 in March
  • Confidence level still remains above 50—indicating positive confidence levels
  • Employee confidence is largely unchanged from May 2011 levels at 53.9


Attitudes Towards the Economy Steady; Perception of Availability of Jobs Declines
  • Similar to last month, 27 percent or workers believe the economy is getting stronger
  • Only 19 percent of workers believe more jobs are available (down 2 percent from April) and almost half of workers (48 percent) believe fewer jobs are available


Worker Confidence in Ability to Find a New Job Still High
  • 41 percent of employees are confident in their ability to find a new job, versus 46 percent in April


U.S. Workers Secure in Their Positions

  • Almost three quarters (72 percent) of employees feel it is not likely they will lose their job in the next year—showing no change from the previous month


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


About the Randstad Employment Report 

About Harris Interactive 

This May 2012 Randstad Employment Tracker was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad between May 16-18, 2012 among a U.S. sample of 1,204 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.