The Glassdoor Q1 Employment Confidence Survey comes on the heels of today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report which shows the unemployment rate holding at 9.7%. According to Bob Doll, vice chairman and chief equity strategist at BlackRock, “the backdrop for the March employment report numbers ‘remains reasonably good’.”
In alignment with the results of the latest BLS report, employees are revealing less concern about being laid off or their co-workers being laid off. Less than one in 5 (18%) employees are concerned they could be laid off in next six months, down from 26% in Q109. And in terms of concerns over co-workers being laid off, 32% expressed concern down from 44% in Q109.
In other good news, employees appear more optimistic about their chances to find a new job. Should they lose their job more employees (including those who are self employed) think it is likely (38%) they would be able to find a job matched to their experience and compensation levels in the next six months than unlikely (30%). This represents an increase in confidence compared to just three months ago when 38% if employees said it is unlikely they would find a new job matched to their experience and compensation levels and 33% said it was likely.
Will employee confidence continue to improve?
Only time will tell but we have seen some other indicators of employee sentiment that show moderate improvement compared to prior quarters. Less than half (48%) of employees report their company made changes to the number of staff, organizational structure, compensation and benefits, or other perks in the past six months, which is down from Q409 (55%). But, there are some cautionary results from the survey: more job restructuring/redundancies were reported by employees (17%) in the first quarter than Q409 (10%); and, more than half (55 percent) of these employees said their company made changes or reduced compensation in the past six months, up from 50 percent in the fourth quarter.
Other signs of a steady employment confidence based on activity over the past six months include:
- One in three (34%) reported their employers initiated or communicated hiring freezes, which is down nine percentage points from Q409 (43%).
- 16% of those surveyed stated that their company took away perks like commuter subsidies, this is slightly less than what has been reported in the past two quarters.
- 17% reported a reduction in health and/or dental benefits – this remains the same as Q409
Do employees think the worst is over?
Employees’ growing sense of confidence is not unchecked – employees are still demonstrating some trepidation and a willingness to make concessions. Whether employed or unemployed but looking for work, the vast majority were willing to accept a lower salary if it meant they could keep – or get — a job; Seventy-six percent of those employed and 88% of those unemployed would be willing to take a pay cut if the loss of a job was on the line. What this may mean for employers is that now is the time to clearly communicate the company’s road map and the employee’s role within the big picture.
What are employee expectations post-recession?
Should the economy return to pre-recession levels, more than half of employees (57%) expect a raise, bonus or a promotion. And, 21% of employees this quarter say they will look for a new job once the economy improves, higher than was reported in Q309 (19%).
As Glassdoor career and workplace expert Rusty Rueff notes, “As employees start to feel better about the future, employers need to have their thumb on the pulse of employee expectations and attempt to bridge gaps in the realities of today’s ‘new normal’ now not later.
Also interesting to note is that younger employees (18 to 34) are more likely to look for new employment or expect a promotion. For example, 16% of employees 18 to 34 expect a promotion compared to 10% of employees 55+. And, 26% of employees 18 to 34 plan to look for a new job compared to 15% of workers 55+.
And, employees who have lived through layoffs or had their own pay affected in the past six months, are more likely to expect their employer to give back what they had previously taken away: 69% of those who work for companies that had or communicated layoff expect a raise, bonus or promotion, down two percentage points since Q3. This group is also more likely to expect more employees to be hired and get back benefits lost.
Interested in more survey results? Click here for more insights into Employment Confidence.
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