Worker Confidence Index Reaches 3 Year High

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — After years of apprehension amid an ongoing pandemic, it appears workers are finally feeling certain about their careers and job prospects once again. In Q4 2022, the U.S. Worker Confidence Index™ (WCI) reached its highest level since Q3 2019, increasing 2 points quarter-over-quarter to 114.4. The WCI, a survey of U.S. workers commissioned by Yoh, the leading international talent and outsourcing company owned by Day & Zimmermann, gauges full-time workers’ perceptions of four key aspects of worker confidence: the perceived likelihood of job loss, perceived likelihood of a promotion, perceived likelihood of a raise and overall trust in company leadership.

Q4 2022 marks three straight quarters of increases for the WCI after dipping more than 5 points to begin the year. This is also the second consecutive quarter in which the perceived likelihood of a promotion, perceived likelihood of a raise saw an improvement; however, in startling contrast, while younger millennials and older Gen Z workers may be expecting a promotion, the same audience segment is the most worried about losing their jobs entirely.

Perceived likelihood of a raise saw the highest quarter-over-quarter increase, moving from 122.3 in Q3 to 128.3 in Q4. Meanwhile, the perceived likelihood of promotion increased by 5.1 points to 135.5, the highest level recorded in the WCI’s history. Unsurprisingly given continued media conversations surrounding potential layoffs and economic uncertainty, perceived job security was once again the only index to slip, dropping 5.2 points in Q4 from 93.2 in Q3 to 88.0, more than erasing all of the gains that index had made in 2022.

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“If this most recent Worker Confidence Index tells us anything, it’s that conversations around economic uncertainty are being heard by workers only to a point. While they may have valid concerns about job loss, many workers still see potential growth in their jobs and are trusting in the C-suite to bring their organizations’ goals to fruition,” said Emmett McGrath, President, Yoh. “Hiring managers recognize how difficult it is to attract and retain great talent today, and the recent jobs report shows that companies continue to hire at breakneck pace. It’s never been more important to continue nurturing current staff and building out a roster of potential candidates – even if there isn’t an immediate need. Finding a way to get ahead of the talent crunch by creating a retention strategy and partnering with hiring experts is one of the most effective ways to head off talent shortages before they truly begin to interrupt overall productivity.”

Other key takeaways from the 2022 Q4 Worker Confidence Index™ include:

  • Confidence in promotion high across nearly all audience segments.
    Confidence in a promotion increased in over two-thirds (68%) of audience segments surveyed in the fourth quarter. Respondents aged 25 to 34 were the most confident in a promotion with more than half (50.4%) anticipating a promotion in the next 12 months. Overall, 26.2% of workers anticipate a promotion, up by 1% from last quarter and 2% year-over-year.
  • Those aged 25-34, while most confident in a promotion, also most confident in a potential job loss.
    While younger millennials and older Gen Z workers may be expecting a promotion in the next 12 months, the same audience segment is the most worried about losing their jobs entirely and saw the highest jump in expected lob loss from Q3 to Q4. Almost exactly one-third (33%) of those aged 25-34 expect to lose their job in the next 12 months, a jump of nearly 13 percentage points from Q3 2022. Those workers aged 55 and up feel the most secure in their jobs, with only 7.1% of those aged 55-64 and just 3.9% of those aged 65+ expecting to lose their jobs in the next year.
  • Employees’ trust in company leadership increases slightly.
    After a rough start to 2022, trust in company leadership increased by 1.9 points from 103.9 in Q3 to 105.8 in Q4. Among those earning $100,000+ annually – typically the most trusting in company leadership – nearly two-thirds (62%) trust in their company leadership to make sound decisions for their employees. Overall, 45.7% of respondents trust company leadership, an increase of 2.4 percentage points year-over-year. Trust remained the least volatile index throughout the pandemic.
  • Don’t expect the confidence to last forever.
    Although the WCI is steadily rising, worker confidence is expected to fluctuate amid economic concerns, especially considering the recent volatility of the Job Security Index, the uncertain future of the stock market and challenges with inflation. Going forward, worker confidence may be subject to rapid or unexpected shifts as the WCI has seen both highs and lows during both bull and bear markets.
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