Worker confidence in the second quarter takes a hit in three of the four metrics.
By Larry Basinait
The Worker Confidence Index (WCI) for the second quarter ofÂ 2019 decreased by 5.8 points to 104.8, similar to the level inÂ the second quarter of 2018 (104.3). An even sharper decline ofÂ 7.9 points occurred in the second quarter of 2017, suggestingÂ seasonality as a possible cause of the drop.
Three of the four components that comprise the workerÂ confidence index showed lower results in the second quarter ofÂ 2019 compared to the first quarter. The job security index wasÂ the only index that increased for the quarter, while the likelihoodÂ of a promotion, trust in company leadership, and the likelihoodÂ of a raise indices all declined. However, compared to the secondÂ quarter of 2018, all four of the indices remain slightly higher.
Females reported higher levels of confidence in their job securityÂ than males again in the second quarter of 2019, continuing aÂ trend. Women historically report higher levels of job security andÂ have less fear of job loss than males. Itâs interesting to note thatÂ the fear of job loss among women actually increased 1.2 pointsÂ in the second quarter of 2019. This is the highest itâs been in twoÂ years. The percentage of males who felt that they would loseÂ their job decreased in the second quarter of 2019 to 11.1 percentÂ from 12.9 percent in the prior quarter. This offset concerns fromÂ females and drove the overall increase in the job security index.
Worker perceptions about the likelihood of a raise decreasedÂ by 9.0 points for the year to 104.4, falling back in line with theÂ estimate in the second quarter of 2018. Both males and femalesÂ felt less confident about getting a raise, as 33.8 percent of malesÂ and 23.6 percent of females anticipated a raise of at least threeÂ percent at their next review. While optimism about a raise in theÂ upcoming 12 months has cooled somewhat, BLS data shows thatÂ seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $911 in theÂ second quarter of 2019, up a solid 3.5 percent from one year ago.Â Since the first quarter of 2018, wages have increased by just overÂ three percent.
The belief in the likelihood of a promotion also fell in the secondÂ quarter to 110.1. The likelihood of promotion index fell 11.1 pointsÂ from last quarter, the second largest drop since the inceptionÂ of the study, driven by fewer females feeling a promotion wasÂ coming their way, down 2.8 percentage points to 15.9 percent.Â The Worker Confidence Index has correctly predicted theÂ direction of consumer confidence for the next quarterâs endÂ in 14 of the last 17 quarters. A decrease in the WCI in the priorÂ quarter would suggest a decrease in the Consumer ConfidenceÂ Index (CCI) at the end of the next quarter. The WCI suggests theÂ average quarterly CCI will decrease at the conclusion of the thirdÂ quarter of 2019.
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