Employee Job Market Confidence and Pay Raises Expectations Reach New Highs

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (October 2, 2015)Nearly four in five (79 percent) employees¹ would prefer new or additional benefits or perks to a pay increase, according to the Glassdoor Q3 2015 U.S. Employment Confidence Survey². Conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor, this survey evaluates four key indicators of employee confidence: job market optimism/rehire probability, salary expectations, job security and business outlook. In addition, this quarter’s survey examines the value employees place on benefits and perks in lieu of pay raises.

Specifically, looking at the 79 percent of employees who reported they want benefits and/or perks over an increase in pay, the most preferred benefit is healthcare insurance (40 percent), followed by vacation/paid time off (37 percent), performance bonuses (35 percent), paid sick days (32 percent) and a 401(k) plan/retirement plan/pension (31 percent). More women (82 percent) than men (76 percent) prefer benefits/perks to a pay raise. In addition, younger employees aged 18-34 (89 percent) and 35-44 (84 percent) prefer benefits/perks to pay raises when compared to those aged 45-54 (70 percent) and 55-64 (66 percent).

“As the U.S. economy continues to expand and job market confidence continues to rise, there is no doubt it is a job seeker’s market. This is a clear signal to employers that in order to compete in today’s labor market, it’s not just about salary and compensation, employers should be communicating clearly about non-traditional compensation. Recruiters should take note that touting the benefits and perks offered can help win talent of different demographics, industries and occupations,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert.

At a new high since this question was first asked more than six and a half years ago in Q1 2009, 54 percent of employees (including those self-employed) report confidence that if they lost their job, they would be able to find a job matched to their experience and current compensation levels in the next six months, up 2 percentage points since last quarter (52 percent). Of those unemployed but looking for work, rehire probability confidence is down 6 percentage points to 40 percent since last quarter (46 percent), but up 7 percentage points compared to last year (Q3 2014, 33 percent). In fact, younger employees (including those self-employed) aged 18-34 years old (60 percent) are significantly more optimistic in their ability to find a job in the next six months when compared to employees aged 55-64 (44 percent).

As employees report confidence in the job market at new highs, pay raise expectations continue to rise. For the first time since this question was first asked in Q4 2008, half (50 percent) of employees expect to receive a pay raise or cost-of-living increase in the next 12 months, up 3 percentage points from last quarter (47 percent). Pay raise confidence among women increased 7 percentage points from last quarter (42 percent) to 49 percent, while pay raise confidence among men ticked up 1 percentage point to 51 percent compared to last quarter (50 percent).

Employees are also less worried about layoffs, with 15 percent of employees reporting concern they may be laid off in the next six months, down 2 percentage points from last quarter (17 percent). Also down 2 percentage points from last quarter (24 percent), 22 percent of employees are concerned about co-workers being laid off in the next six months. Younger employees (aged 18-34) are more concerned about being laid off in the next six months (22 percent) compared to employees in other age groups: 35-44 (12 percent) and 55-64 (7 percent). And, men are significantly more concerned about being laid off in the next six months (19 percent) than women (9 percent).

With layoff concerns down, 48 percent of employees (including those self-employed) believe their company’s business outlook will get better in the next six months, which is down slightly since last quarter (51 percent). Forty-six percent believe it will stay the same, while 6 percent believe it will get worse, down slightly from last quarter (7 percent).

SURVEY SUPPLEMENT & GRAPHICS AVAILABLE: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­For more details, including breakdowns of survey results by gender, income, geography and age as well as quarter-by-quarter results, please see the full U.S. Q3 2015 Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey Supplement: To request the survey supplement, graphics and/or complete survey methodology, please contact pr [at] Glassdoor [dot] com.

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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 The Q3 2015 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor from September 18-22, 2015 among 2,016 adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,119 are employed or unemployed but looking, 1,011 are employed (full-time, part-time or self-employed), 903 are full-time/part-time employees, and 108 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 complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

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