HRO Today magazine partnered with Yoh Recruitment Process Outsourcing to produce the Worker Confidence Study, which provides an index to measure employment security in the United States. Perceptions of job security are particularly interesting to government entities because of the impact that they have on American spending habits and, by extension, the U. S. Gross Domestic Product.
This index provides insight into macro-metrics previously untapped by existing indices such as the Consumer Confidence Index, Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) or United States Consumer Sentiment. Although those indices are useful in gauging the attitudes of employees towards their jobs, they do not measure perceptions of job security with the same precision.
Each month, HRO Today magazine employs ORC International’s CARAVAN® Omnibus Surveys to conduct approximately 333 interviews online. Respondents, who are 18 years and older and work full-time in the U. S., answer a series of four questions. Each question asks respondents to rate each question on a 1-5 scale, with one being “very poor” and five being “very favorable.” The four questions are about the possibility of involuntary job loss, the likelihood of promotion, anticipation of a raise of at least 3 percent, and trust in company leadership.
The fourth quarter survey indicated the following trends:
The Worker Confidence Index (EWBI) Continues to Fall
For the second consecutive quarter, the EWBI fell to its lowest level since the study’s inception. At 94.5, the index dropped 3.3 points from the third quarter of 2015. This suggests that employees continue to feel frustration with their employment situations. Despite the recent drop in the unemployment rate to 5 percent, the overall index fell a total of 6.3 points in 2015.
Women Have Continued Confidence in Their Job Security
Most groups examined felt more positive about job security during 2015, but women took the lead in this respect compared to minorities and young workers. By the end of 2015, there were 2.4 percent more workers than at the end of 2014, and more female workers were added than males (3.1 percent vs. 1.8 percent, respectively.)
In 2015, there was also decrease in the belief in a promotion in the next year; this statistic is down 2.5 percentage points to 18.1 percent. Males continued to be more optimistic than females, and minorities remained more optimistic about promotions than whites. While optimism was unchanged among whites, it fell for both blacks and Hispanics, 5.9 and 8.2 percentage points, respectively. Likewise, only 24.6 percent of respondents felt they’ll get a raise of at least 3 percent after their next review.
More Income, More Confidence
The study found that as income increases, so does the belief in the likelihood of a raise. Those with at least $100K annual household income are the most inclined to think they’ll get a raise, while those making under $35K are least optimistic. However, raise optimism in 2015 was polarized during the year and declined the most for those making less than $35K and over $100K. There is an opposite relationship between age and belief in the likelihood of a raise—at least from age 35 onward.
That is to say that as age increases from 35 on, the belief there will be a raise of at least 3 percent after the next review declines steadily. As employees get older, increasingly more feel what they make today is about what they’ll make tomorrow.
Most company leadership doesn’t strive to be loved, but trust is essential within any organization. Results from 2015, however, prove that trust can be difficult to attain and keep. Just over one-third of respondents (39.6 percent) trusted company leadership to make sound decisions by the end of 2015, a decline of 4.6 percentage points compared to the end of 2014.
Increasing, study trends also show that that as age increases, trust in a company’s leadership erodes more and more. The groups that have the least trust are female, the oldest, least educated, lowest incomes and whites.