increasing green arrowIn its March 2013 Employee Confidence Index, Randstad reports that employee confidence has edged up slightly for the second consecutive month, increasing to 53.9, even as job market confidence dropped a notch. Even more notably, personal confidence in the ability to secure a new job and in the future of employers has experienced the largest gains since April 2010.

“This month we saw an interesting, though not too surprising, contrast in workers’ feelings around the broader economy and their own individual confidence levels,” said Jim Link, managing director of human resources for Randstad US. “Workers seem to be increasingly cautious about what’s happening in the economy as they wait to see the potential impacts from the sequestration and the $85 billion government spending cuts that took effect on March 1. In addition to the seemingly never-ending budget debates on Capitol Hill, Americans are likely feeling wary due to continued gas price and payroll tax concerns.”

“Even so, it is important to note the heightened personal confidence reported. Our Personal Confidence Index, which measures optimism in workers’ ability to find employment and in the health of their employers, rose by nearly four points—making it the largest gain in two years—which is very encouraging. In the midst of economic unease, US workers are clearly feeling good about job security, the health of their employers, as well as their ability to find alternative employment if necessary—which could have very costly implications for organizations if this percentage of the workforce took action. With more sustained stock market and housing price gains, as well as continued job creation, we expect personal confidence to continue to strengthen over the next several months.”

Highlights from the report include:

• March’s confidence index grew slightly from 53.5 in February to 53.9.

• Confidence in macro-economic conditions fell by 2.8 points but personal confidence rose 3.7 points; a three-year high.

• 52 percent of workers feel that there are fewer jobs available, up from 47 percent in February.

• 42 percent of workers are confident in their ability to get a new job.

• Worker’s confidence in the future of their employers jumped 7 points over February to 63 percent.

• 55 percent of workers do not plan to look for a new job over the next 12 months.

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