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Employee Confidence Remains High as U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.3 Percent

Although Randstad’s U.S. Employee Confidence Index (ECI) decreased slightly from 62.3 points in the first quarter of 2015 to 61.9 (-0.4) in the second quarter, survey findings indicate employee confidence remains exceptionally high, with 2015 marking the first year the U.S. ECI has reached 60.0 points or higher since the survey’s inception in 2004. The U.S. ECI, calculated from the results of an online survey among over 2,000 employed adults and conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Randstad, measures employed workers’ perceptions regarding the overall strength of the economy, availability of jobs and personal employment prospects. Despite the minor second-quarter decline, nearly one-third of workers (32 percent) believe more jobs are available and more than half (53 percent) indicate they are confident in their ability to find a new job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 223,000 new jobs in June, marking it the third consecutive month of solid gains after a temporary slowdown in March. The unemployment rate also declined to 5.3 percent, the lowest rate since April 2008—however, some economists remain wary as the waning unemployment rate has been largely attributed to a reduction of more than 400,000 workers from the U.S. labor force. Similarly, the labor force participation rate, a measure of the share of adults who are either working or actively looking for work, decreased from a four-month high of 62.9 percent in May to 62.6 percent in June, the lowest rate since October 1977.

“While the question of whether the U.S. economy is ‘fully healed’ remains a topic of debate among many economists, a number of positive indicators suggest we will continue to see a positive trend,” said Jim Link, Chief HR Officer, Randstad North America. “More than 200,000 jobs have been added in 13 of the last 15 months, the unemployment rate has decreased from 5.7 percent in January 2015 to 5.3 percent in June and Randstad’s survey findings indicate employee confidence remains high.

“The decreased labor participation rate may raise some concerns, but it’s important to note the largest source of nonparticipants was the group who transitioned from being employed to no longer being in the workforce, as opposed to those who were underemployed and stopped looking for work, also known as discouraged workers. As Baby Boomers reach retirement age and workers exit the labor market at a rate disproportionate to that of new workers entering, we can expect to see an impact to both the unemployment and labor participation rates as a reduction in the number of overall workers tends to drive both rates downward.”

Randstad US has been tracking workforce trends and publishing the U.S. Employee Confidence Index since 2004.

Guest Author Randstad US

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Randstad US from April 15-17, & June 9-11, 2015 of 2,005 employed adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. ECI estimates prior to 2015 were calculated based on three monthly waves of aggregated data. In 2015, the ECI is estimated based on two waves – the first and last month of the respective quarter – of data collection. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact


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