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Worker Confidence Dips As New Year Begins

NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Randstad Employee Confidence Index decreased 3.3 points in January to 52.1, indicating U.S. workers may be feeling uncertain about the job market and economy amid ongoing budget negotiations, which have led to higher payroll taxes for many Americans. The Index, which tracks U.S. workers' perspectives around jobs and the economy each month, reveals only 26 percent of employees surveyed believe the economy is getting stronger, down five percentage points from the previous month's reading.

"Our recent findings show U.S. workers are somewhat more concerned as we head into the New Year," said Randstad US managing director Jim Link. "Many economists and other widely cited confidence indices, such as the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, point to the increase in payroll taxes having an effect on workers' sentiment. It is possible this tax hike could dampen consumer confidence for the near future and our findings are clearly showing an impact on January's numbers already.

However, it is important to note that our Index, while showing a decrease this month, has remained above the confidence threshold of 50.0 over the last year. Workers should also note other positive signs of improvement in industries such as retail, manufacturing and healthcare, as well as increased activity in the housing market. Many of these industries are anticipating steady growth, even in the midst of changes to taxes and spending cuts. As workers and employers alike keep watchful eyes on the debt ceiling debate and other fiscal uncertainties, we believe variable or temporary labor will be a valuable, turnkey solution to any anticipated market volatility." 

Look Inside the Report:

Employee Confidence Dips in January; Remains Above Positive Threshold
  • The Randstad Employee Confidence Index decreased 3.3 points to 52.1 in January — a steeper fall than in any month to month comparison in 2012; however, the Index has remained at or above 50 (the positive confidence threshold number) for the last year

U.S. Workers More Cautious Around Economic Future, Career Prospects
  • At the start of 2013, only 26 percent of employees indicated the economy is getting stronger, down five percentage points from December
  • More than half of employees, 53 percent, believe there are fewer jobs available (compared to only 46 percent sharing this sentiment last month)
  • While workers are less assured than in December, still more than 43 percent indicate confidence around their ability to find a new job

Employees Remain Secure in their Jobs, Confident in the Future of their Companies
  • Even with decreased confidence in the job market and economy, most employees (72 percent) feel secure in their current jobs
  • A majority of workers (61 percent) expressed confidence in the future of their current employers — even more so than last month (59 percent)

A Third of Workers Plan to Transition to a New Job in the New Year
  • Similar to December 2012, 33 percent of employees indicated they are likely to transition to a new job
  • More than half (54 percent) reported they are likely to stay at their current job — up two percentage points over December 2012

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

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