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US workers still confident, but consumer confidence falls

July 30 2013

Employee confidence in the U.S. remained near its pre-recession high for the sixth straight month, according to the July reading of Randstad U.S.’ employee confidence index. July’s reading of 56.3 was relatively unchanged from June’s reading of 56.8, and it was the third-highest reading for the year.

However, The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell in July to a reading of 80.3 from June’s reading of 82.1. July’s decline follows an improvement in June.

“Consumer confidence fell slightly in July, precipitated by a weakening in consumers’ economic and job expectations,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “However, confidence remains well above the levels of a year ago. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions continues to gain ground and expectations remain in expansionary territory despite the July retreat. Overall, indicators are that the economy is strengthening and may even gain some momentum in the months ahead.”

One finding in The Conference Board’s survey for its consumer confidence index was the percent of consumers claiming jobs are “hard to get” fell to 35.5 percent in July from 37.1 percent in June.

The Randstad index’s survey found that 49 percent of U.S. employees are confident in their ability to find a new job, and 62 percent are confident in the future of their current employer. Also, 30 percent believe the economy is getting stronger.

“Employees continue to show pre-recession levels of confidence throughout the first half of 2013, keeping pace with increases in job gains, home values and stock prices,” said Jim Link, managing director, Randstad U.S. “We see a connection between rising consumer confidence levels and increases in leisure and hospitality industry employment — which makes sense. Leisurely activities, vacations and other incidentals are the types of things people typically cut back on during tough times. This, coupled with revisions to previous month’s job numbers, seems to be a big contributor to the stability of our Index.”

The Randstad index is based on survey of 1,065 employed U.S. adults.

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