Earlier this morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly Employment Situation report, which reveals that the unemployment rate has edged down to 9.5%. Shortly before, Glassdoor released its Q2 Employment Confidence Survey of 2,418 U.S. adults, which offers more in-depth insight behind the BLS numbers by having a look at what employees and unemployed job seekers are thinking and expecting in the months ahead. This data reveals implications for employers relating to employee morale and retention.
Below are a few highlights:
Employer Actions: Employees report companies have let up on the layoff throttle in the past six months, but non-headcount cutbacks are rising in areas that can have implications on spending and satisfaction. Nearly half (45%) of employees1 reported their employers made changes to the number of staff, organizational structure, compensation and benefits or other perks in the past six months. While these employees reported fewer instances of layoffs (47%) than in recent quarters, they reported higher rates of compensation cuts and changes (57%), including bonus reductions or eliminations (27%), reductions in health and/or dental benefits (22%) and removal of company perks (i.e., commuter subsidies, 20%).
Job Security: Employee concerns about layoffs declined for the fifth consecutive quarter. One in six (16%) are concerned about being laid off in the next six months – this is down from 26% a year ago. Nearly twice as many (31%) are concerned coworkers could be let go, which is down from 41% in Q209.
Job Market: Outlook for job market remained flat although those unemployed but looking revealed rising uncertainty that they will be able to land a job within six months (42% are uncertain vs. 32% last quarter) And, 55% of those unemployed and looking have been out of work 6 months or longer. Among employees, 39% think it is likely they could find another job within six months if they lost their current job, 31% think it is unlikely and 28% are uncertain, which is the same break down as a year-ago quarter.
Salary Outlook: Employees are more optimistic about pay raises than in recent quarters although more employees still think they are not getting a pay raise (43%) in the next 12 months than those who think they are (40%). This compares to a year ago when 32% expected a pay raise within 12 months and 50% did not. Optimism for pay raises is highest among those who live in the Midwest where nearly half (48%) expect a pay raise compared to 33% in the West and 40% in the Northeast and South.
Company Outlook: Employees are more optimistic about their company’s six-month outlook that they have been in recent quarters. Nearly half (45%) expect their company’s outlook to improve in the next six months, up from 39% in Q209. The optimism is again higher among those who live in the Midwest, where more than half (52%) expect their company outlook to improve compared to 38% in the Northeast.
While outlook might be improving, it’s important to keep in mind most employees’ job satisfaction is stagnant (42%) or worsening (27%) compared to a year-ago. According to Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor.com career and workplace expert, who has run global HR departments at Electronic Arts and PepsiCo, these survey results should be a wake-up call to employers.
“While we’re seeing rising employee confidence in the areas of job security, pay raises and company outlook, it’s important to keep in mind many are still recovering from the effects and turmoil felt and witnessed at companies and in the job market over the past two years,” said Rueff “This is a critical time for employers as employees expectations are rising around pay and other areas. How employers behave and communicate now will certainly influence future satisfaction and impact retention as the economy recovers.”
How is your job satisfaction? What’s your outlook on job security or pay raises? Has your career been impacted by economy?