American workers are becoming more confident in the jobs market and overall state of the workplace, a new study has found. The recently released Randstad Employee Confidence Index for July found that confidence among the national workforce was up for the sixth month in a row.
The confidence rates are now hitting highs that have not been seen since before the recession, an indicator of possible economic growth over the coming months and years. The Index rated July’s confidence level at 56.3, while in January 2013, employee confidence came in at 52.1.
The rise in this year’s rates are important, and demonstrate the significant improvement in the economy since the onset of the recession. In fourth quarter 2008, the index hit its lowest ever rating of 41.3, and remained below 50 for much of the period between 2008 and 2011. For the past six months, though, the survey has returned to increasingly positive results.
The consistent upswing in confidence levels is a boon for many industries, including small businesses. As workers become more confident in job retention and ability to find employment, it is possible that spending will also rise.
Positive results point to some increased spending
The survey, which was commissioned by Randstad and conducted by Harris Interactive, interviewed 1,065 currently employed workers over the age of 18. The results were largely positive in July – according to the study, 49 percent of employed workers are confident in their abilities to find a job were they to become unemployed. Approximately 62 percent of respondents said they are confident in their current company’s future, marking a rise in perceived job security.
Workers demonstrated their faith in the overall financial state of the U.S., as well, with 30 percent of respondents stating they think the economy is getting stronger. This is significant for retailers and other small business owners across the country – often, when consumers feel confident in their ability to keep their job, they feel safe enough to begin spending again.
Jim Link, managing director of Randstad, said that consumer confidence is likely on the rise due to a national drop in unemployment and rising stock prices and home sales throughout the first half of the year. The gains in confidence have already started to show in certain sectors. Link said Randstad found a connection between increasing consumer confidence levels and spending on entertainment hospitality services.
“Leisurely activities, vacations and other incidentals are the types of things people typically cut back on during tough times,” Link said. “This, coupled with revisions to previous month’s job numbers, seems to be a big contributor to the stability of our Index.”
While consumers may be spending more on entertainment and vacations, many small business owners are still waiting for the improving economy to help their own companies. Small business owners who find themselves in need of extra financing can come to National Funding for guidance. National Funding can help with getting a cash advance for small business needs, as well as with getting a small business loan.