SOURCE: Spherion

September 14, 2006 19:08 ET

Florida Employment Report: Worker Confidence in Economy and Ability to Find New Job Waning

Fewer Workers Confident in the Strength of the Economy; 61 Percent of Workers Remain Confident in the Future of Their Employer; Percentage of Workers Optimistic About the Number of Jobs Available Drops

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 14, 2006 -- The Florida Employee Confidence Index dipped 2.1 points to 57.5 in August, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation. Overall confidence decreased primarily because fewer workers reported optimism in the strength of the economy and confidence in their ability to find a job.

Although the survey shows that the Employee Confidence Index dropped in August, workers remained confident in the future of their employer. Specifically, 61 percent of workers are confident in the future of their employer, showing no change from July. Workers' feelings about their own job security remained upbeat, with only eight percent reporting that it is likely that their jobs will be eliminated in the next 12 months, down seven percentage points from July.

"Considering the instability of the stock market, slowdown of the housing market and higher energy costs, it is no surprise that confidence took a dip this month," said Dawn Gill, district director of Florida for Spherion Staffing Services. "Qualified candidates continue to be very difficult to find and because of this employers are more willing to recruit job seekers from outside their city or state. In addition to this trend, we are seeing more personality tests being given to candidates to make sure that new hires not only have the right skills, but also the right cultural fit for the organization."

Employee Confidence Index: The overall Florida Employee Confidence Index was 57.5 in August, down 2.1 points from July and 1.1 points from August 2005. The Index, which measures adult workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, decreased as workers had more concerns about the strength of the economy and their ability to find a new job.


                                 Florida Workers          U.S. Workers
                              ---------------------   ---------------------
                                             % Point                % Point
                                July  August Change    July  August Change
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Getting stronger     27%    12%   -15%      23%    18%    -5%

Economy       Staying same         25%    49%   +24%      33%    36%    +3%

              Getting weaker       48%    39%    -9%      44%    47%    +3%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              More jobs            37%    23%   -14%      25%    24%    -1%
Job
Availability  Same amount          25%    46%   +21%      36%    34%    -2%

              Fewer jobs           38%    31%    -7%      38%    42%    +4%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Confident            58%    49%    -9%      57%    57%     0%
Ability to
Find New      Neutral              33%    43%   +10%      28%    30%    +2%
Job
              Not Confident        10%     8%    -2%      15%    14%    -1%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Confident            61%    61%     0%      65%    63%    -2%
Future of
Current       Neutral              29%    32%    +3%      24%    25%    +1%
Employer
              Not Confident        10%     7%    -3%      12%    13%    +1%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Likely               15%     8%    -7%      12%    11%    -1%
Likelihood
to Lose Job   Neutral              10%    18%    +8%       9%    10%    +1%

              Not Likely           75%    74%    -1%      79%    79%     0%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Likely               35%    21%   -14%      35%    35%     0%
Likelihood to
Look for New  Neutral              11%    24%   +13%      10%    11%    +1%
Job
              Not Likely           54%    55%    +1%      55%    54%    -1%
              ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
About the Spherion Employment Report

As part of the Spherion® Emerging Workforce® Series of employment surveys, the monthly Spherion Employment Report provides a snapshot of the latest workforce trends across the country and is issued in conjunction with state and national labor market releases. 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, which measures employees' overall confidence in the economy, the future of their employer, the availability of jobs, and their ability to find other employment. The Employee Confidence Index is based on these four components, with a 'score' calculated for each 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 scaled from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.

Methodology

The August 2006 Spherion Employment Report is based on data from a Harris Interactive® QuickQuery(SM) online survey conducted on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 3,188 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, of whom 132 are employed in Florida (for July 2006 n=139), was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between August 8-10 and August 15-17, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting adjusted for respondents' propensity to be online.

With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 3,188 U.S. employed adults one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- two percentage points, and the sampling error for the Florida state sample results is plus or minus nine 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 approximately 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. For up-to-date career tips and trends, visit Spherion's career blog, The Big Time™, at www.spherion.com/careerblog.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is the 12th 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 http://go.hpolsurveys.com/PR.

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