U.S. worker confidence held fairly steady in March, although workers
showed a declining confidence in their personal finances, according to
the monthly Hudson Employment Index.
The Employment Index dropped nearly a full point from 102 to 101.2. The
slight downward shift represents the second consecutive decline in worker
confidence in the employment market. The fall was mainly driven by a
sagging optimism in personal finances, according to analysts at Hudson.
The study shows that 42 percent of workers now say their finances are
getting better. That’s down from 44 percent a month ago. However, the
number of people who say their personal financial situation is getting
worse rose from 36 percent in February to 39 percent in March.
Holding steady, though, are the numbers regarding workers’ confidence in
their employers’ hiring plans.
Since February, the percentage of U.S. employees expecting their firms to
layoff staff has fallen from 18 percent to 17 percent. The number of
workers anticipating that their companies will hire held steady at 31
percent. Concerns over job security also were unchanged with 71 percent
of U.S. workers not worried about job loss, according to Hudson’s report.
”Record high gas prices and the declining value of the dollar are
causing workers to feel less secure about their own finances,” said Jeff
Anderson, senior vice president of Hudson Global Resources of North
America. ”Add in the uncertainty of Social Security, and even with
hiring picking up, workers are feeling the pinch in their pocketbooks.”
Workers at small businesses showed a change in their perception.
While they remain less upbeat than the overall workforce, optimism among
workers at firms with fewer than 50 employees rose in March, spurred by
their firms’ positive hiring outlook, less anticipated lay off activity
and more job satisfaction. Managers also grew more optimistic in March as
a result of fewer expected lay offs and higher levels of job security.
Hudson, based in New York, is a professional staffing and outsourcing