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The outlook among American workers declined in February, according to Randstad’s U.S. employee confidence index. The index fell 2.7 points in February to a reading of 54.0. Although the index decreased from the five-month high registered in January, it remains 0.5 points higher than this time last year.
The index measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism about the economic environment.
“Recent, positive economic reports seem to conflict with the dip in employee confidence,” said Jim Link, chief HR officer, Randstad North America. “However, examination of the numbers helps explain the disparity. For example, recent data shows expanded manufacturing activity, improved construction investment and a simultaneous rise in consumer spending. At the same time, increased energy costs from recent cold weather significantly impacted the higher-than-expected consumer outlay, and discretionary spending actually slowed. Despite improved economic reports, employees remain cautious as hiring shows steady improvement.”
The index is based on a survey of 1,019 employed U.S. adults conducted between Feb. 3 and Feb. 5.