SOURCE: Spherion

September 14, 2006 19:07 ET

With Only a Slight Dip in August, California Employee Confidence Index Remains Strong and Steady

Californians More Confident Than Overall U.S. Workforce in Ability to Find New Jobs; Fewer Workers Optimistic About Availability of Jobs; One-Third of Workers Are Likely to Look for a New Job

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 14, 2006 -- The California Employee Confidence Index dropped one point to 59.1 in August, compared to a decline of 2.1 points across the overall U.S., according to the Spherion® Employment Report, a monthly survey conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation.

Specifically, 24 percent of workers reported confidence in the availability of jobs, compared to 27 percent in July. Also, 63 percent of workers were optimistic about the future of their employer, down from 68 percent in July.

The drop in overall confidence did not affect workers' plans to look for a new job; however, the survey indicates that one-third (33 percent) of workers are likely to job-search in the next year, unchanged from last month. In addition, 67 percent of workers are confident in their ability to find a new position, 10 percentage points higher than the overall U.S. workforce.

"Regardless of the slight decrease in overall confidence, we are seeing a greater demand for long-term assignments. There has also been a large increase in executive to mid-high level administrative assistant positions, in addition to a pick-up in the call center, production, manufacturing, financial services and transportation industries," said Lauren Steel, territory vice president for Spherion. "Employers seem more confident and all markets are showing signs of job growth."

Employee Confidence Index: The California Employee Confidence Index was 59.1 in August, down only one point from the previous month. The Index, which measures adult workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, slightly decreased because fewer workers reported optimism in job availability and the future of their employer.


August Employment Report Results


                               California Workers          U.S. Workers
                              ---------------------   ---------------------
                                               %                      %
                                             Point                  Point
                                 July   Aug  Change    July   Aug   Change
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Getting stronger     17%    19%    +2%      23%    18%    -5%

Economy       Staying same         40%    39%    -1%      33%    36%    +3%

              Getting weaker       43%    42%    -1%      44%    47%    +3%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              More jobs            27%    24%    -3%      25%    24%    -1%
Job
Availability  Same amount          40%    37%    -3%      36%    34%    -2%

              Fewer jobs           33%    38%    +5%      38%    42%    +4%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Confident            66%    67%    +1%      57%    57%     0%
Ability to
Find New      Neutral              23%    24%    +1%      28%    30%    +2%
Job
              Not Confident        11%     9%    -2%      15%    14%    -1%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Confident            68%    63%    -5%      65%    63%    -2%
Future of
Current       Neutral              21%    26%    +5%      24%    25%   +11%
Employer
              Not Confident        11%    11%     0%      12%    13%    +1%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Likely               11%     9%    -2%      12%    11%    -1%
Likelihood
to Lose Job   Neutral              10%    11%    +1%       9%    10%    +1%

              Not Likely           79%    80%    +1%      79%    79%     0%
------------  ---------------- ------ ------ ------   ------ ------ ------
              Likely               33%    33%     0%      35%    35%     0%
Likelihood
to Look for   Neutral              11%    10%    -1%      10%    11%    +1%
New Job
              Not Likely           57%    57%     0%      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® QuickQuerySM online omnibus conducted on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 3,188 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, of whom 310 are employed in California (for July 2006 n=250), 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 it is 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 California state sample results is plus or minus six 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.

Contact Information