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Confidence Among Unemployed Job Seekers Reaches 3 Year High; Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey Q2 2012

Is the job market looking brighter this summer?  According to the latest quarterly Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey¹, 42% of unemployed job seekers believe they can find a job matched to their experience and compensation level in the next six months – an all-time high since Q1 2009 and an increase of six percentage points when compared to Q1 2012. Notably, this is also a 17 percentage point increase compared to one year ago, Q2 2011, when it was at its low (25%).

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However, things are a bit different for those employed (full/part or self). This quarter is the first time employee confidence sank below confidence levels held by unemployed job seekers. In Q2 2012, employee optimism surrounding re-hire probability remained flat (37%) when compared to last quarter; and 30% believe it is unlikely they could find a job at all.

The survey also reveals that employees 55 years and older are the most (41%) confident about their chances of finding work, if they were to lose their current job. Those ages 18-34 are least confident (22%), followed by those 35-44 (27%) and 45-54 (31%).

Is the unemployment line slowly dwindling?

While the unemployment rate continues to hover slightly above 8%, there is an indication that layoffs may be slowing down. The survey shows that of employees who reported cutbacks at their company, fewer employees (38%) reported layoffs or that their employer reported plans for layoffs in the past six months – an all-time low since our survey began in Q4 2008.

When asked if employees were concerned that layoffs could still occur in the next six months, 19% are concerned about personal layoffs, remaining steady with reports in the prior quarter. However, concerns over co-worker layoffs dropped four percentage points to 29% when compared to last quarter.

Interestingly, men (23%) are more concerned about being laid off than women (15%) in the next six months.

Is it too soon to ask for a raise? Employee optimism over pay raises drops slightly

While the unemployed may be feeling more optimistic about finding work and layoff reports may be slowing, employees remain cautious about how favorable conditions are inside their companies. Two in five employees (40%) expect to receive a pay raise or cost-of-living increase in the next 12 months, down three percentage points from last quarter. Employees also note that when it comes to company outlook, 45% expect it to stay the same, 10% expect is to get worse, and 45% expect their companies to improve in the next six months.

When salary expectations are broken out by gender, men’s optimism for a pay raise fell five percentage points since last quarter to 40%, while 41% of women expect a pay raise in the next 12 months, an increase of one percentage point from last quarter.


View the complete results for the Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey including breakdowns by age, location and gender.

Do you feel like the job market is getting better or worse? Are you expecting a pay raise in the next 12 months?

¹ The Glassdoor Employment Confidence survey is conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Glassdoor. The quarterly survey monitors four key indicators of employment confidence: salary expectations, job security, re-hire probability and company outlook.