SOURCE: Spherion

September 14, 2006 19:09 ET

Illinois Employment Report: Despite Drop in Overall Confidence, Nearly Half of Workers Likely to Search for New Jobs

46 Percent of Workers Likely to Look for a New Job; Fewer Workers Confident in the Future of Their Employer; Percentage of Workers Confident in Their Ability to Find a New Job Decreases

CHICAGO, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 14, 2006 -- The Illinois Employee Confidence Index slipped 5.2 points to 49.8 in August. Despite this drop the current level still remains 3.3 points higher than in August 2005, according to the Spherion® Employment Report. The recent survey of working adults in Illinois, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation, shows that fewer workers are confident in their personal employment situation and optimistic about the strength of the economy.

Despite this drop, nearly half (46 percent) of workers report that they are likely to look for a new job in the next year versus 34 percent in July. Illinois workers are more likely to job search compared to the overall U.S. workforce.

"Even though workers are skeptical about the future business condition of their company, the Employee Confidence Index is higher than last year. Workers' doubt may stem from the idea that more companies have experienced or have plans to follow conventional spending," said Michael Ruter, managing director of Spherion Professional Services in Chicago. "However, the news is not all bad. With nearly half of workers likely to job search and the number of jobs continuing to be greater than the supply of available talent, workers will have a tremendous advantage, especially those with auditing, financial analysis and ERP implementation experience."

Employee Confidence Index: The overall Illinois Employee Confidence Index was 49.8 in August, decreasing 5.2 points from July, but remains 3.3 points higher than the level reported last year. The Index, which measures adult workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, decreased as fewer workers were optimistic about their ability to find a new job, the future of their employer and the strength of the economy.

August Employment Report Results

                                 Illinois Workers         U.S. Workers
                              ---------------------   ---------------------
                                               %                      %
                                             Point                  Point
                                July  August Change    July  August Change
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Getting Stronger   22%    18%    -4%      23%    18%    -5%

Economy       Staying Same       27%    31%    +4%      33%    36%    +3%

              Getting Weaker     51%    51%     0%      44%    47%    +3%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              More Jobs          14%    16%    +2%      25%    24%    -1%
Job
Availability  Same Amount        44%    39%    -5%      36%    34%    -2%

              Fewer Jobs         42%    45%    +3%      38%    42%    +4%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Confident          54%    48%    -6%      57%    57%     0%
Ability to
Find New      Neutral            28%    35%    +7%      28%    30%    +2%
Job
              Not Confident      18%    17%    -1%      15%    14%    -1%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Confident          70%    50%   -20%      65%    63%    -2%
Future of
Current       Neutral            21%    31%   +10%      24%    25%    +1%
Employer
              Not Confident       9%    19%   +10%      12%    13%    +1%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Likely             15%    14%    -1%      12%    11%    -1%
Likelihood
to Lose Job   Neutral            10%    24%   +14%       9%    10%    +1%

              Not Likely         75%    62%   -13%      79%    79%     0%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Likely             34%    46%   +12%      35%    35%     0%
Likelihood
to Look for   Neutral             7%    10%    +3%      10%    11%    +1%
New Job
              Not Likely         60%    44%   -16%      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 the Harris Interactive QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus conducted monthly by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 3,188 employed adults aged 18 years and older, of whom 139 are employed in Illinois (for July n=117), 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 Illinois state sample results is plus or minus eight 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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