New York -- Confidence among U.S. workers rose for the second straight month as concerns about layoffs matched previous Hudson
Employment Index lows. Additionally, concerns about job security fell slightly. The July measure of worker confidence in the labor market moved ahead to 103.7 from 103.0 in June. Despite the latest increase, the current reading is substantially lower than one year ago, when it was 108.1.
While the percent of workers expecting hiring held steady in July at 31 percent, those anticipating layoffs dropped a point to 16 percent. This is the lowest reading for this factor over the last year, matching results from October 2004 and January 2005. In addition, fewer workers were concerned about job loss in July -- that figure dropped one point to 20 percent. This was particularly true for workers at companies with 250+ employees, as they reported substantially fewer layoffs and preoccupations surrounding job security.
"Considering the time of year, the July Index points to good news for the job market," said Jeff Anderson, senior vice president, Hudson, North America. "Summer tends to be the slow season for hiring, yet worker views of the market this year seem fairly strong, mirroring the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report that fewer companies are laying off employees."
The Index is down from one year ago, primarily because workers this year are less optimistic about their personal finances and their employers' hiring plans. However, the percent of workers happy with their job is up four points from July 2004 -- 74 percent compared to 70 percent.
Confidence fell among managers in July, particularly those in the private sector, who reported less optimism towards their personal finances and a decrease in anticipated hiring. However, similar to the overall workforce, fewer managers expected layoffs in the coming months.