ATLANTA, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Randstad Manufacturing Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among manufacturing workers, climbed 3.7 points to 54.6 in the fourth quarter of 2012—its highest point since the first quarter of 2007. The online survey of 152 U.S. manufacturing workers was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad in October, November and December of 2012.
"Companies are starting to invest again and in turn, job creation is following," said Phyllis Finley, executive vice president at Randstad US. "Some of the sectors that have been hiring heavily include automotive, supply chain and advanced manufacturing. Technical and skilled employees within the manufacturing sector are also in high demand."
According to the closely watched Purchasing Managers Index released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), the January Index registered at 53.1 percent, an increase of 2.9 percentage points when compared to December's seasonally adjusted reading of 50.2 percent. This indicates growth for the 44th consecutive month in the overall economy, and indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector for the second consecutive month, the ISM reports.
In addition, the ISM's Employment Index registered at 54 percent in January, which is 2.1 percentage points higher than the seasonally adjusted 51.9 percent reported in December, and indicates growth in employment for the 40th consecutive month. The growing job market for manufacturing workers is reflected in the overall positive outlook among workers.Q4, 2012 Survey Highlights: Manufacturing Worker Confidence in Economy Is Showing Signs of Improvement
- Twenty-eight percent of manufacturing workers believe the economy is getting stronger, rising six percentage points from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, only a third (33 percent) of workers say the economy is getting weaker, falling four percentage points from the previous quarter's readings.
- Compared to third quarter's readings, the number of workers who believe fewer jobs are available decreased from 55 percent to 48 percent. Meanwhile, a growing number of manufacturing employees think job availability is improving, rising to 22 percent from 13 percent reported in the third quarter.
- Although the number of workers who are confident in their ability to find employment contracted slightly in the fourth quarter, falling from 48 percent to 45 percent in the fourth quarter, the number of workers not confident in their ability to find jobs fell sharply from 31 percent to 19 percent.
- The percentage of workers confident in the future of their employers fell to 59 percent, dropping five percentage points from the previous quarter's readings.
- Thirty-seven percent of manufacturing workers say they are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months, dropping two percentage points from the previous quarter.