The SFN Group Employee Confidence Index increased 1.4 points to 50.1 in October, it was announced on November 5. The index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the economic environment, shows that 40 percent of workers believe the economy is getting weaker and 60 percent believe that there are fewer jobs available. Despite this dreary outlook on the macroeconomic landscape, nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of workers report that they are unlikely to lose their jobs in the next 12 months.

"Our Employee Confidence Index increased to 50.1 this month — marking the first time it has reached over 50 points in more than four months," said William Grubbs, executive vice president and chief operating officer of SFN Group Inc. "This month's index paints a picture that many U.S. workers are becoming increasingly more personally confident, but remain lukewarm when it comes to the health of national economy.

“Much of the uncertainty for U.S. workers could be attributed to their exposure to some of the declining economic indicators, including the high unemployment level seen over the last year and a half. However, a very different picture appears when considering predictive indicators, such as the temporary help services sector, consistently delivering monthly sequential increases over the last year and up 23.1 percent year-over-year — adding more than 451,000 jobs in the last 13 months. In fact, within our own business we are seeing growth in areas such as recruitment process outsourcing, as well as finance and accounting, IT and clerical staffing. This is an indication that the recovery is becoming more and more broad-based.”

A Look Inside the Report:

Confidence in Overall Situation
The SFN Group Employee Confidence Index increased 1.4 points to 50.1 in October. The index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the economic environment, shows that 40 percent of workers believe the economy is getting weaker and 60 percent believe that there are fewer jobs available. Despite this dreary outlook on the macroeconomic landscape, nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of workers report that they are unlikely to lose their jobs in the next 12 months.

Confidence in Macroeconomic Environment

  • Twenty-one percent of U.S. workers believe the economy is getting stronger, an increase of two percentage points from September. Conversely, 40 percent believe the economy is getting weaker, showing no change from September.
  • Sixty percent of workers believe there are fewer jobs available, as compared with 58 percent who believed so last month.

Confidence in Personal Employment Situation

  • Sixty-three percent of workers are confident in the future of their current employer, an increase of two percentage points from September.
  • Forty percent of workers are confident in their ability to find a new job, increasing one percentage point from the previous month.

Job Security

  • Seventy-one percent of workers believe that it is unlikely they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, increasing by 1 percentage points from September
     

Job Transition

  • The amount of workers likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months showed no change from September, holding steady at 35 percent.
     

Confidence by Gender

  • In October, more than one quarter (26 percent) of men believe the economy is getting stronger vs. 16 percent of women.
  • More men are confident in their ability to find a new job. Specifically, 44 percent of men reported confidence vs. 36 percent of women.
  • Women are more likely to believe that there are fewer jobs available, with 65 percent indicating this belief. On the other hand, 56 percent of men share this outlook.
     

Confidence by Age:

  • More than half (55 percent) of workers ages 55+ believe the economy is getting weaker, the highest among all age brackets.
  • Workers ages 55 and older are the least likely among all age brackets to indicate a likelihood of making a job transition in the next 12 months, with 73 percent reporting a job change is likely.
     

Confidence by Income

  • Workers earning $75,000 or greater were the most confident in the future of their current employer, with 72 percent reporting confidence. On the contrary, workers earning $35,000 or less were the least confident in the future of their current employer (48 percent).
  • Workers earning less than $35,000 are the least confident in their ability to find a new job, with one-third reporting confidence (33 percent).