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Randstad U.S. Employment Report: 2011 In Review

NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Randstad has compiled key jobs data to reflect the overall picture of the US employment landscape in 2011. This report captures 2011 highlights as it relates to: job creation, public and private sector jobs, the temporary help services industry and the professional service sectors. In addition, the Randstad Employee Confidence & Employee Attachment Indices have been included to provide a snapshot of US worker sentiments over the year and predictions for next year.

A recent online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad from December 12-14, 2011 among 1,222 employed adults ages 18 and older in the U.S., reveals that the Randstad Employee Confidence Index slightly decreased by 0.6 points to 47.4 in December, indicating a slight decline in worker confidence. Overall, employee confidence levels in 2011 have continued to hover around the 50.0 mark -- indicating positive confidence. In fact, 2011 began with a slightly elevated Employee Confidence Index compared to previous years and remained above its historical low point of 40.1 in February 2009. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in both their personal employment situation and sentiment in the economic environment, shows that more workers have remained optimistic about not only their job security, but also their personal employment situations.

On the same note, the 2011 index has somewhat mirrored the movement seen in many economic reports.  Many businesses and consumers alike are feeling uncertain in terms of a recovery due to mixed economic signals and because of that, we have seen worker confidence ebb and flow throughout 2011.

Additional highlights include :
  • 2011 confidence high-point: May (53.9); 2011 confidence low-point: August (41.0)
  • Job transition Index hit highest point ever in January 2011 (40 percent)
  • Job Security Index reached lowest point in August 2011 (66 percent)

"As we look back at 2011, we see that employees' concerns changed throughout the year as the economy remained uncertain and employment situations across various industries contracted and expanded," says Joanie Ruge, senior vice president and chief employment analyst of Randstad Holding US. "Economic growth has remained relatively modest, posting gains in several key sectors, including engineering, IT, healthcare and even finance and accounting. Despite the slight pullback this month, overall temporary help services has continued to show increases, and we see this trend continuing into 2012. This year has largely been associated with reports around economic uncertainty, and the U.S. presidential election and the European debt crisis have added to this sentiment. But let's keep in mind that current economic conditions did not come about overnight, and it will take time to create the amount of jobs necessary  to push down unemployment. I do believe, however that we will see more job creation in the beginning of this year. However, according to economists, the economy will remain vulnerable to possible setbacks due to reports around the global economy potentially entering a recession."

2011 Job Creation :
  • Job creation continues to be slow but steady as an uncertain economy continues to recover
  • 1.9 million jobs in the private sector were created in 2011
  • Since December 2009, retail has continued to add jobs at an average rate of 14,000 jobs per month(1)

2011 Private Sector :
  • Private sector jobs were up overall in 2011, with steady gains each month
  • The private sector has now recovered 33 percent of jobs lost during the period of January 2008 to February 2010(1)
  • Employment in the private sector has increased steadily each month, adding 1.9 million jobs during 2011(1)

2011 Government Jobs:
  • Government agencies announced more than 280,000 job cuts in 2011
  • Many public job cuts can be attributed to jobs lost in the U.S. Postal Service,  and state and local governments(1)
  • Employment in both state government and local government has been trending down since the second half of 2008(1)

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