Employee Confidence Slides -- Surveys
Wed Mar 2, 2005 06:01 AM ET
By Emily Chasan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. employee confidence fell
sharply in February, as workers grew more worried about personal
finances, layoffs and job security, according to surveys released on
The employee confidence index in Hudson Highland
Group's latest survey of 9,000 workers fell to 102.0, its lowest
level in 12 months and down sharply from 106.2 in January.
Job loss fears were at their highest in more than
a year, as one of five employees surveyed feared the loss of his or
her job. The number of workers expecting their companies to lay off
employees rose to 18 percent in February from 16 percent in January,
The decline in confidence may be due to slow
employment growth, as workers have been pessimistic about the job
market since 2000, staffing executives said.
A separate survey by staffing firm Spherion Corp.
(SFN.N) showed overall employee confidence held steady with
January, but employees showed slight decreases in personal
confidence, confidence about the future of their companies, and
confidence in their ability to find a job.
Furthermore, the Spherion survey of more than
3,000 workers, showed that 43 percent of employees still believe
fewer jobs are available, compared to 24 percent who believe more
jobs are available.
"We are still measuring the number of jobs
available by the norm of job growth in the late 1990s. Since then,
its been a steady month-over-month increase but we haven't seen a
real spike." Spherion's president of employment solutions, Robert
But overall employee confidence levels have
remained relatively steady over the past few years, "Even with the
downturn in the job market, employees have remained relatively
confident in their own abilities. We haven't seen a dive in their
overall confidence levels," Morgan said.
The Hudson survey also revealed growing optimism
at large companies and among professionals, as employees in
organizations with 250 to 500 employees or with annual salaries
between $60,000 and $75,000, were more confident about personal
finances and expected fewer layoffs. Employees at the smallest
companies were most concerned about losing their jobs, Hudson said.