peopleRandstad’s November Employee Confidence Index showed the first decline in worker confidence since August as it fell to 51.7 (a 1.9 point decline) percent. Uncertainty was on the rise for the month as workers questioned the availability of new jobs and the strength of the economy in the lead up to the fiscal stiff. Though optimism fell, most workers (59 percent) held onto strong levels of confidence in their employment future.

“November was a month of ups and downs for the U.S. labor market, but for the most part, our Index has remained fairly high given the mixed economic headlines,” said Jim Link, managing director of human resources for Randstad US. “With the presidential election behind us, economic anxiety still exists around the so-called fiscal cliff, potential sharp tax increases, and the economic outlook overseas. Yet, there are some very positive signs as we move into the last month of the year. The retail holiday season started off strong with more sales activity in stores and online when compared to 2011. Consumers are also more confident than we’ve seen since early 2008, the housing market is showing signs of recovery, and third quarter GDP growth was revised upward to 2.7 percent. Despite this welcoming news, the economy still remains fragile and the unemployment rate will likely show little movement as we close out 2012.”

November also saw a 7 percent increase in the number of employees believing that the economy is getting weaker, rising from 34 percent in October to 41 percent last month. Over half of employees feel that fewer jobs are available while just 20 percent believe that more jobs are available. Nearly three-quarters of employees reported feeling secure in their jobs, which has held steady through 2012.

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