ATLANTA, April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Randstad U.S. Employee Confidence Index (ECI) reached 62.3 in first quarter 2015, the highest figure reported since the survey's inception in the third quarter of 2004. The ECI, which is calculated from the results of an online survey conducted on Randstad's behalf by Harris Poll, measures employed workers' perceptions regarding the overall strength of the economy, availability of jobs, confidence in current employer and their ability to find a new job. The index's first quarter findings indicate confidence levels reached an all-time high, with more than one-third (35 percent) of workers stating they believe there are more jobs available and 51 percent expressing confidence in their ability to find one. The Q1'15 survey was conducted among nearly 2,000 employed U.S. workers in January and March, 2015.
Although employee confidence levels increased, the April 3 employment report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows March job gains decreased to 126,000, compared to gains averaging over 269,000 during the previous 12 months. Additionally, earlier employment projections issued in January and February were adjusted to subtract 69,000 jobs from the first quarter's total.
On the positive side, the March jobs report shows average hourly wages increased by 0.3 percent, bringing the increase in wages over the past 12 months to 2.1 percent. The BLS also reports the number of Americans filing for unemployment fell to a 15-year low with 268,000 new claims filed in the last week of March. These factors bring the four-week moving average – a better indicator because it smooths out the normal bumps in the road – to an encouraging 285,500.
"March was, without question, a less than stellar month for the economy that was exacerbated by extremely harsh winter weather and trade disruption from the West Coast port strike," said Jim Link, Chief HR Officer, Randstad North America. "The stalled employment numbers have already led to discussions among economists as to whether they simply represent a bump in the road or perhaps early signs that a broader economic slowdown is beginning.
"However, it's important to remember in previous recessions, consumer sentiment started declining well before the economy visibly weakened. Right now, several indicators show consumer sentiment is still rising, as evidenced by our own U.S. Employee Confidence Index, which reached its highest levels ever at the close of first quarter 2015 and indicates workers feel very confident in the economy and overall job market."
Randstad US has been tracking workforce trends and publishing the U.S. Employee Confidence Index since 2004. Click here to visit our Workforce360 thought leadership site for a more detailed analysis of the current economic situation.
About Randstad US
Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.9 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the United States, Randstad provides temporary, temporary-to-hire and permanent placement services each week to over 100,000 people through its network of more than 900 branches and client-dedicated locations.
Employing over 5,300 recruiting experts, the company is a top provider of outsourcing, staffing, consulting and projects and workforce solutions within the areas of Engineering, Finance and Accounting, Healthcare, Human Resources, IT, Legal, Manufacturing & Logistics, Office & Administration, Pharma and Sales & Marketing.
Learn more at www.randstadusa.com and access Randstad's panoramic U.S. thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Randstad US from January 13-15 and March 11-13, 2015 among 1,973 employed adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. ECI estimates prior to 2015 were calculated based on three monthly waves of aggregated data. In 2015, the ECI is estimated based on two waves – the first and last month of the respective quarter – of data collection. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact [email protected].
SOURCE Randstad US