Unemployed Job Seekers More Optimistic About Landing a Job in Next 6 Months, Yet Employees More Pessimistic About Job Market & Job Security Than Recent Quarters

SAUSALITO, Calif. – (April 4, 2012) ­– As the unemployment rate continues to decline, holding a three-year low of 8.3 percent in February, employee optimism for pay raises and company outlook are on the upswing, reaching new highs in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Glassdoor® quarterly Employment Confidence Survey2 of 2,013 U.S. adults aged 18+ conducted online on its behalf by Ipsos Media.

For the first time since Glassdoor began monitoring employment confidence in 2008, more employees expect a pay increase (43 percent) in the next 12 months than those who do not (38 percent). Additionally, nearly half (46 percent) of employees expect their company outlook to improve in the next six months, climbing six points from the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, unemployed job seekers are feeling better about the state of the job market as more than one-third (36 percent) of those unemployed but looking report it is “likely” they will find a job matched to their experience and compensation levels within six months.

Interestingly, employee sentiment about job security and  job market prospects remains tempered. In the first quarter, more employees believe it is unlikely they could find a job matched to their experience level within six months, up six points from the fourth quarter to 30 percent. In addition, employees reveal that concerns about layoffs have not subsided, as one-third (33 percent) say they are concerned co-workers could be laid off in the next six months.

“Even though consumer confidence is up and the unemployment rate is down, employees remain tentative about the market. On one hand, positive economic and company indicators are driving increased optimism around pay raises and company outlook, but that optimism hasn’t yet spilled over into individual job security or view of the job market,” 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. “Employers should pay attention to employee expectations around pay and be more transparent to ensure employee sentiment is aligned with reality, which will help avoid disappointment that can impact morale.”

The quarterly Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey highlights four key indicators of employee confidence in the areas of job market prospects/re-hire probability, company outlook, pay raises and job security. Highlights from the first quarter 2012 survey are summarized below:

Pay Raises: Confidence in Salary Reaches All Time High; Men Continue To Be More Optimistic Than Women

  • For the first time in the past four years, more employees expect a pay raise than those who do not – 43 percent of employees expect a pay raise in the next 12 months, while 38 percent of employees do not, and 19 percent don’t know.
  • More men expect a pay raise than women – 45 percent of men noted they expect an increase in the next 12 months vs. 40 percent of women.
  • Younger workers are more optimistic about salary increases – nearly half (49 percent) of 18-34 year olds indicate they expect to receive a pay raise, compared to 34 percent of those ages 55+.

Company Outlook: Employee Optimism At Highest Level Since 2008

  • In the first quarter, nearly half (46 percent) of employees believe their company outlook will be better in the next six months, up six points from the prior quarter, reaching the highest level since 2008 when Glassdoor initiated this survey. Almost one in 10 (nine percent) expect their company’s outlook to worsen, while 44 percent expect their company’s outlook to remain the same.
  • Nearly half of men (48 percent) expect their company’s outlook to improve in the next six months compared to 45 percent of women. And, younger workers 18-34 tend to be more optimistic (53 percent) about their company prospects than older workers 55+ (42 percent).

Job Security: Layoff Concerns Edge Up for Self and Co-workers

  • Nearly one in five employees (19 percent) are concerned they could be laid off in the next six months, up two points from the fourth quarter after declining the preceding two quarters.
  • One-third of employees (33 percent) are concerned co-workers could be laid off in the next six months. Concerns of co-worker layoffs were highest among employees in the West (39 percent) compared to those in the South (29 percent), Midwest (31 percent) and Northeast (36 percent).

Job Market: Optimism Up for Unemployed Job Seekers, Falls for Employed

  • Optimism is rising among unemployed job seekers as more than one-third (36 percent) say they believe it is likely they will find a job in six months, up six points from the fourth quarter to the highest level since this survey began in 2008.
  • Employees are not as optimistic about their prospects should they lose their jobs, however. In fact, those who think it is “likely” they could find a job matched to their experience level dropped four points from the fourth quarter to 37 percent, while 30 percent think it is unlikely and 32 percent are uncertain.

For more details and methodology of the survey, please see the full Q1 2012 Glassdoor Confidence Survey Summary and Methodology, https://www.glassdoor.com/press/surveys.

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] glassdoor.com 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) These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted March 16-18, 2012.  For the survey, a national sample of 2,013 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online.  Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±2.18 percentage points when it comes to the entire sample 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults aged 18 and older in the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. For a full methodology including weighting variables please contact pr [at] glassdoor.com.

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 on more than 150,000 companies, such as FacebookGoogle, Chevron, J.Crew, NIKE and PricewaterhouseCoopers.  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 blog, and by following the company on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.

Glassdoor.com is a registered trademark and JobScope is a trademark of Glassdoor, Inc.

About Ipsos Media

Ipsos is one of the fastest growing market research companies in the U.S., market leader in Canada, and among the most trusted research brands in North America. With more than 2,800 professionals and support staff in the U.S. and Canada, Ipsos offers a suite of research services—guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies—in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media and public affairs research, as well as survey management, forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos companies offer a complete line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services.