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April 5, 2012

Employee Confidence Still a Mixed Bag

Filed under: General HR Buzz9:58 am

The latest data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the national unemployment rate has held steady at 8.3% in January and February – the lowest it has fallen since February 2009.  The good news doesn’t stop there, at least according to Glassdoor’s quarterly Employee Confidence Survey.  Job seekers who are currently unemployed feel more optimistic about their prospects of landing a job within the next six months:  the highest level since 2008 (36%).  Employees’ perception of their company’s outlook – including self-employed – has risen to its highest level since the second quarter of 2010, to almost half.  The survey has been conducted each quarter since 2008, using over 2,000 respondents.

Perhaps another indicator of good things to come, employees are more optimistic about receiving pay raises than they have been since the survey began.  While 43% of employees believe they will receive a pay raise within the next year, 38% of employees do not expect a pay raise.  This is the first time that the number of employees who expect a raise exceeds those who do not.  More men expect a raise than women, and the highest level of optimism is among younger (ages 18-34) workers, among whom nearly half expected a raise.

Among employees who reported that their employer had added jobs and/or benefits, 40% reported that they received new perks such as working remotely or flexible hours; 40% also reported that the company had restored health or dental benefits that had previously been cut.

Before you start thinking that I’m looking at the world through rose-colored glasses – or, as my mother would say, suffering from a case of Pollyanna syndrome – there is still plenty employees are not looking forward to:

  • Reduced health benefits (26% – up 9 points from last quarter)
  • Reduced compensation (52% – up 2 points from last quarter)
  • Employees concerned for layoff within the next 6 months (19% – up slightly after two quarters of declines)
  • Currently employed individuals have increased concern in the likelihood they could find employment within six months of a job loss (37% – lowest since Q42010)
  • Older workers are more concerned about their ability to find employment after a job loss (47% of employees 55+ – up 12 points from last quarter)

Glassdoor’s survey measures four dimensions to determine employee confidence: job security, salary expectations, re-hire probability, and company outlook.

To see all the results: Glassdoor Q1 2012 Employee Confidence Survey Results

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