SOURCE: Spherion

September 14, 2006 19:11 ET

Percentage of Texas Workers Optimistic About Strength of Economy and Personal Employment Situation Decreases

Only 21 Percent of Workers Believe Economy Is Getting Stronger; Fewer Workers Confident in Ability to Find a New Job; Nearly Four in 10 Workers Likely to Search for New Jobs

DALLAS, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 14, 2006 -- The Texas Employee Confidence Index dropped more than five points to 57.4 in August according to the Spherion® Employment Report, a monthly survey conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation.

The Report indicated that only 21 percent of Texas workers believe the economy is getting stronger, a decline of ten percentage points from July. Despite the statewide decline in macroeconomic optimism, nearly four in 10 workers (38%) intend to search for a new job.

"The overall employment picture in Texas is relatively strong, creating an even tighter employment market. Because of this, more companies are having to look to hire out of state rather than sticking to local talent pools, which could be contributing to workers' lack of confidence in obtaining new positions," said Julie Van Wormer, vice president for Spherion in Texas. "Call center, customer service, accounting and medical positions are still very much in demand. We expect call center hiring to pick up even more through the end of the year, due to seasonal holiday staffing to help assist holiday shoppers."

Employee Confidence Index: The overall Texas Employee Confidence Index was 57.4 in August, down 5.3 points from July and 5.8 points from August 2005. The Index, which measures adult workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and in the macroeconomic environment, decreased because more employees are pessimistic about the economy and lack confidence in their personal prospects.

August 2006 Employment Report Results


                                   Texas Workers         U.S. Workers
                               --------------------  ---------------------
                                               %                      %
                                             Point                  Point
                                July   Aug   Change    July   Aug   Change
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Getting stronger     31%    21%   -10%      23%    18%    -5%

Economy       Staying same         29%    33%    +4%      33%    36%    +3%

              Getting weaker       41%    46%    +5%      44%    47%    +3%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              More jobs            33%    27%    -6%      25%    24%    -1%
Job
Availability  Same amount          35%    34%    -1%      36%    34%    -2%

              Fewer jobs           32%    38%    +6%      38%    42%    +4%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Confident            57%    52%    -5%      57%    57%     0%
Ability to
Find New      Neutral              32%    37%    +5%      28%    30%    +2%
Job
              Not Confident        12%    11%    -1%      15%    14%    -1%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Confident            70%    63%    -7%      65%    63%    -2%
Future of
Current       Neutral              25%    29%    +4%      24%    25%    +1%
Employer
              Not Confident         5%     9%    +4%      12%    13%    +1%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Likely               10%     8%    -2%      12%    11%    -1%
Likelihood
to Lose Job   Neutral               5%     8%    +3%       9%    10%    +1%

              Not Likely           86%    84%    -2%      79%    79%     0%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Likely               33%    38%    +5%      35%    35%     0%
Likelihood
to Look for   Neutral               5%    13%    +8%      10%    11%    +1%
New Job
              Not Likely           62%    49%   -13%      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 194 are employed in Texas (for July 2006 n=183) 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 Texas state sample results is plus or minus seven 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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