SOURCE: Spherion

August 01, 2006 19:26 ET

Are Retention Efforts Working? Spherion Survey Shows Fewer IT Workers Leaving Jobs

More IT Workers Believe the Economy Is Getting Stronger; Half of IT Workforce Say It Is Not Likely That They Will Look for a New Job; Majority of IT Workers Say It Is Not Likely They Will Lose Their Jobs

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 1, 2006 -- The likelihood that U.S. IT workers will look for a new job dropped nine percentage points to 39 percent in the second quarter of 2006, according to the recent quarterly IT Employment Report released today by Spherion Corporation. Facing a unique combination of a tight job market, slowing efficiency gains, labor shortages at certain skill levels and an up-tick in labor compensation, employers are placing more emphasis on attracting and retaining skilled workers.

Despite this factor, the Spherion® Report, conducted by Harris Interactive®, indicated that IT workers' feelings about the economy improved in the second quarter, as 31 percent reported that they believe the economy is getting stronger, up five percentage points from the first quarter.

"IT workers, along with other professional and business services workers, continue to have the upper hand in the current job market, but now they are starting to see more money in their paychecks," said Brendan Courtney, senior vice president of Spherion Professional Services. "The data from this quarter's report indicates an increase in confidence among IT workers that they could find new jobs if they wanted to, yet the number of those intending to begin a new job search declined. These workers are clearly gun shy about pursuing new jobs despite their availability, which may be the result of employer retention efforts. Wages are growing across the board, so IT workers may be thinking 'If I'm getting a pay increase, why leave?'"

IT Employee Confidence Index: The IT Employee Confidence Index was 58.4 for the second quarter of 2006, up 1.3 points from the previous quarter. During the same period, the U.S. Index decreased 0.7 points to 57.6. The Index, which measures adult workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, may have increased because of a candidate-driven shift in the job market due to a combination of a growing IT sector and increased retention measures offered by employers.

                  2Q 2006 Employment Report Results: IT

                                  IT Workers             U.S. Workers
                            ----------------------  ----------------------
                                              %                       %
                              1Q      2Q    Point     1Q      2Q    Point
                             2006    2006   Change   2006    2006   Change
                            ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
           Getting stronger     26%     31%     +5%     25%     22%     -3%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Economy       Staying same      35%     29%     -6%     36%     35%     -1%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
             Getting weaker     39%     40%     +1%     39%     43%     +4%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Job               More jobs     28%     31%     +3%     26%     26%      0%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Availability    Same amount     33%     31%     -2%     35%     35%      0%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
                 Fewer jobs     39%     38%     -1%     40%     39%     -1%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Ability to        Confident     52%     57%     +5%     58%     57%     -1%
Find New   ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Job                 Neutral     29%     21%     -8%     28%     28%      0%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
              Not Confident     19%     21%     +3%     14%     15%     +1%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Future of         Confident     64%     63%     -1%     65%     65%      0%
Current    ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Employer            Neutral     22%     21%     -1%     23%     22%     -1%
           ----------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
              Not Confident     14%     16%     +2%     12%     13%     +1%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Likelihood           Likely     19%     18%     -1%     12%     12%      0%
to Lose Job---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
                    Neutral     11%     12%     +1%     10%     11%     +1%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
                 Not Likely     70%     70%      0%     78%     77%     -1%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Look for New         Likely     48%     39%     -9%     36%     37%     +1%
Job        ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
                    Neutral      9%     11%     +2%     10%     10%      0%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
                 Not Likely     44%     50%     +6%     54%     53%     -1%
           ---------------- ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------

About the Spherion Employment Report

As part of the Spherion® Emerging Workforce® Series of employment surveys, the quarterly Spherion Information Technology Employment Report provides a snapshot of the latest workforce trends among information technology professionals across the country. Three key indices are measured: the Spherion Job Security Index, which captures how likely respondents think it is that they will lose their job or that their job will be eliminated in the next 12 months; the Spherion Job Transition Index, which captures how likely respondents are to look for a new job in the next 12 months and the Employee Confidence Index that measures employees' overall confidence in the economy, their employer and their ability to find other employment. The Employee Confidence Index is calculated from the results of four components that reflect these aspects of employee confidence. For each component item a 'score' is calculated by taking the difference of the percentage of positive responses and the percentage of negative responses. These four scores are then averaged to indicate an overall level of employee confidence and is scaled from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.

Methodology

This 2006 Spherion® IT Employment Report was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation among 9,022 employed adults, of whom 694 work in information technology positions (aged 18 and over) within the United States between April 4-6 and 10-12, 2006; May 3-5 and 9-11, 2006; and June 6-8 and 14-16, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

With a pure probability sample of 9,022 adults one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1 percentage point. Sampling error for the results of employed adults who work in information technology positions (n=694) is plus or minus 4 percentage points. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Spherion

Spherion Corporation is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for 60 years, Spherion has screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs. Positions range from administrative and light industrial to a host of professions that include accounting/finance, information technology, engineering, manufacturing, legal, human resources and sales/marketing.

With more than 650 offices in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing 375,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America's largest employers. To learn more, visit www.spherion.com.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is the 13th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.

To become a member of the Harris Poll Online, visit www.harrispollonline.com.

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