Press Center / Press Releases / 2011-10-04


Employee Confidence in Job Market and Pay Raises Stalls; Uncertainty Rises Among Unemployed Job Seekers; Optimism in Company Outlook Drops to Lowest Recorded Levels

SAUSALITO, Calif. – (October 4, 2011) ­– The recent roller coaster in the financial markets has U.S. employees1 and job seekers on edge as more than half employed adults (56 percent) and most unemployed job seekers (91 percent) think the recent volatility in the economy and financial markets will impact their career, job or job search. This economic angst may be contributing to stalled employee and job seeker confidence in the third quarter as sentiment around pay, job market, company outlook and layoffs showed almost no signs of optimism and, in many cases, revealed rising pessimism, according to the Q3 Glassdoor® Employment Confidence Survey of 2,291 U.S. adults aged 18+ conducted online on its behalf by Harris Interactive®2.

“Employee confidence in the job market and compensation levels appears to be at a pause, in much the same way the economy is stuck between growth and contraction right now,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert, who ran global HR departments at Electronic Arts and PepsiCo before co-authoring Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business. “Employee confidence remains an important leading indicator of overall consumer confidence, which has been weak with flat unemployment rates and net job creation at a halt. What I find most interesting is that employees and job seekers both are expressing deep concern this quarter that continued market uncertainty will impact hiring and their careers and ability to find jobs in the near future.”

The Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey highlights four key indicators of employee confidence quarterly, in the areas of job market/re-hire probability, job security, pay raises, and company outlook. The Q3 2011 survey also asked employees how they think the recent market volatility may affect their job or career. Highlights from the survey are summarized below:

Impact of Market Volatility: Majority Say It Will Impact Their Career/Job or Job Search

  • More than half (56 percent) of employees think the recent volatility in the economy and financial markets will impact their job or career. Of these:
    • 30 percent think their career advancement will be slowed
    • 28 percent think their job will be in jeopardy
    • 25 percent think their bonus or pay/commission will be reduced
  • Nine in 10 (91 percent) of unemployed job seekers think the market volatility will impact their ability to find a job. Of these job seekers:
    • 80 percent expect it will take longer to find a job
    • 63 percent expect there to be fewer jobs available for qualified candidates
    • 54 percent expect base pay to be lower
    • 45 percent say they are more likely to accept a job they are overqualified for

Job Market: Uncertainty Among Unemployed Job Seekers Rises to Highest Levels in 5 quarters

  • Uncertainty is rising among unemployed job seekers as 36 percent indicate they are uncertain whether they will be able to find a job in six months – the highest level in five quarters.
  • Pessimism about the job market grew again during the third quarter among employees (including those self-employed). One-third (33 percent) of employees and those self-employed believe it is unlikely they would be able to find a job matched to their experience and compensation levels in six months if they lost theirs – up two points from the second quarter (31 percent) and up four points from the first quarter (28 percent).

Pay Raises: Raise Expectations Remain Flat; Men More Optimistic Than Women

  • Employee optimism regarding pay raises remained flat in the third quarter. Slightly more than one-third (36 percent) of employees expect a pay raise in the next 12 months, a percentage that is unchanged from the second quarter.
  • Optimism for a pay raise is higher among men (40 percent) than women (32 percent) which is also unchanged from the second quarter.

Company Outlook: Optimism Drops to Lowest Recorded Levels; Men More Optimistic

  • Employee sentiment over company outlook retreated to the lowest level since January 2009 when Glassdoor started tracking this opinion. One-third (33 percent) of those employed and self-employed expect their company’s outlook to improve in the next six months, which has fallen seven points from the second quarter (40 percent) to the lowest level since December 2008.
  • Overall optimism has fallen among men and women, but men have brighter outlook with 38 percent of men expecting their company’s outlook to improve, compared to 28 percent of women.

Job Security: Personal Layoff Concerns Decline While Concerns for Coworkers Remain Flat

  • Employee concern over themselves being laid off decreased by six points this quarter to 16 percent – the lowest level since the second quarter of 2010. However, nearly one-third (32 percent) are concerned about coworkers being laid off in the next six months, down two points from the second quarter.

For more details and methodology of the survey, please see the full Q3 2011 Glassdoor Confidence Survey Summary and Methodology,

NOTE TO WRITERS/PRODUCERS: Graphics and a full quarter-by-quarter supplement of the survey, including an overview and highlights, are available. Please contact pr [at] for more information.

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1) For the purposes of this study “employees” were defined as U.S. adults 18+ employed full time and/or part time unless otherwise indicated.

2) This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Glassdoor from September 19-21, 2011 among 2,291 adults ages 18 and older of whom 1,375 are employed full time, part time and/or are self employed, 1,247 are employed full time and/or part time and 192 are unemployed but looking. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For a full methodology including weighting variables please contact pr [at]

About Glassdoor

Glassdoor is a free and anonymous jobs and career community offering an inside look at companies and access to millions of job listings. Glassdoor helps employees, job seekers, employers and recruiters find and share detailed information about more than 130,000 companies, such as FacebookAccentureAT&TOracleStarbucks and UPS.  This proprietary user-generated content includes salary data, company reviewsinterview questions and reviews, office photos and CEO approval ratings. Glassdoor was founded in 2007 and launched its website in 2008. Headquartered in Sausalito, Calif. Glassdoor has raised $22.2 million from its founders, Benchmark Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Battery Ventures. More information about Glassdoor can be found on its blogFacebook, and on Twitter. is a registered trademark and JobScope is a trademark of Glassdoor, Inc.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit