The SFN Group Employee Confidence Index decreased by 1.2 points to 48.9 in February. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the economic environment, shows that fewer workers are confident in the strength of the economy and in job availability. On the contrary, more workers are optimistic about their job security and the future of their current employer.

"Although our report shows a decline in overall confidence from the previous month, it is still 6.2 points higher than the low point of 40.1 it registered at one year ago," said Roy Krause, president and CEO of SFN Group Inc. "In fact, hiring demand is better now than what we experienced a few months ago. We are seeing the demand for temporary work starting to pick-up -- generally a sign that full-time hiring is on the horizon. From an employer and candidate perspective, I see this flexible segment becoming a greater percentage of the total workforce as we move forward in a recovery. Many employers continue to be hesitant to add staff on a full-time basis due to the uncertainty of the market. Additionally, the idea of working on different projects seems to be an appealing option for not only younger job seekers, but also all types of professional workers and Baby Boomers. As we talk to more and more candidates, we are finding that more people are looking for greater flexibility, stronger engagement, additional income and/or the opportunity to stay on top of the latest technology trends."

Confidence in Overall Situation:
The SFN Group Employee Confidence Index decreased by 1.2 points to 48.9 in February. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the economic environment, shows that fewer workers are confident in the strength of the economy and in job availability. On the contrary, more workers are optimistic about their job security and the future of their current employer.

Confidence in Macroeconomic Environment:

  • Twenty-three percent of U.S. workers believe the economy is getting stronger, down 5 percentage points from January.
  • Sixty-seven percent of workers surveyed believe there are fewer jobs available, jumping 5 points from the previous month.

Confidence in Personal Employment Situation:

  • The number of workers confident in their ability to find a new job decreased by 1 percentage point to 38 percent in February.
  • The percentage of workers reporting confidence in the future of their current employers increased by 3 percentage points to 64 percent,

Job Security:
Seventy percent of workers say they are unlikely to lose their jobs in the next year, increasing 3 percentage points from the previous month.

Job Transition:
Thirty-five percent of workers are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, representing an increase of 2 percentage points from last month's reading.

Confidence by Gender:

  • In February, more men than women believe the economy is getting stronger. Specifically, 27 percent of men and 18 percent of female workers cited this.
  • More males than females cited that they are confident in their ability to find a new job, with 45 percent of men and 30 percent of women reporting confidence.
  • More women than men reported that they are likely to job search in the next 12 months. In February, 35 percent of women and 34 percent of men reported the likelihood to job search.

Confidence by Age:

  • Workers ages 18 to 24 are the most likely to believe the economy is getting stronger, with 27 percent of workers in this age group believing so.
  • According to the latest results, 74 percent of workers ages 45 to 54 believe there are fewer jobs available, the highest among all age brackets in February.
  • Forty-nine percent of workers between the ages of 18 and 34 report that they are likely to look for a new job in the next year. This is the highest reading for all age brackets. On the contrary, only 21 percent of workers 55 and older are likely to make a job transition in the next 12 months.

Confidence by Income:

  • Workers earning $75,000 or greater are the most likely to believe the economy is getting stronger, with 27 percent indicating they believe so compared to 17 percent of those earning less than $35,000.
  • Workers earning less than $35,000 are the least confident in the future of their current employer, with 54 percent expressing confidence; while workers earning $75,000 or more are the most optimistic, with 71 percent reporting confidence.
  • Forty-two percent of workers earning less than $35,000 are likely to look for a new job in the next year. This is the highest reading across all income cohorts.