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U.S. Worker Confidence Index™ Dips 5.2 Points in Q1, Erases Prior Gains

Increased Trust in Company Leadership Not Enough to Buoy Overall Worker Confidence

Group Listening to Speaker-1PHILADELPHIA, PA – May 16, 2022 –Despite the improvement of certain economic indicators, including the U.S. unemployment rate, the U.S. Worker Confidence Index™ (WCI) trended downward to open 2022, decreasing 5.2 points to 101.9 and reversing nearly all gains made in the final quarter of 2021. The WCI, a survey of U.S. workers from HRO Today Magazine and Yoh, the leading international talent and outsourcing company owned by Day & Zimmermann, gauges full-time workers’ perceptions of four key aspects of worker confidence: perceived likelihood of job loss, perceived likelihood of a promotion, perceived likelihood of a raise and overall trust in company leadership.

All but one of the indices that comprise the WCI decreased in Q1. The Likelihood of Promotion Index experienced the greatest quarter-over-quarter fall, dropping a substantial 11.6 points from 125.1 to 113.5. In addition, the Job Security Index dropped 4 points from 88.4 to 84.5, and the Likelihood of a Raise Index dropped 10.7 points from 114.9 to 104.2. The only growth measured came from the Trust in Company Leadership Index, which experienced an improvement of 5.4 points from 100.1 to 105.5, allowing it to remain above the 100-point mark as it has since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although positively trending metrics, such as the U.S. unemployment rate, appear to signal an economy rebounding from pandemic-induced instability, this quarter’s disappointing WCI results demonstrate just how precarious this healing process can – and will – be,” said Emmett McGrath, President, Yoh. “Skyrocketing levels of inflation and ongoing volatility in the stock market are clearly weighing heavily on the minds of employees. Now more than ever, employers across economic sectors must find ways to meaningfully support current employees and successfully attract new prospects, especially as the effects of the ‘Great Resignation’ linger.”

other key takeaways from the 2022 q1 Worker Confidence INDEX

  • Employees’ perceived job security drops to levels not seen since early in COVID-19 pandemic.
    • For the first time since the first quarter of 2021, the Job Security Index experienced a quarter-over-quarter decrease, dropping 4 points from 88.4 to 84.5. The disparity in job confidence between men and women continues to expand, with women increasingly more likely to report job security. Since last quarter, women’s concern over job loss decreased by 1.5 percentage points to 10.5%, while men’s concern over job loss increased 2 percentage points to 21.8%.
  • Likelihood of Promotion takes substantial nosedive, especially among those aged 25-34.
    • Of all indices measured, the Likelihood of Promotion Index experienced the most significant downturn, dropping 11.6 points in the first quarter from 125.1 to 113.5. Only roughly one-in-five employees (21.9%) now anticipate receiving a promotion in the next year, a quarter-over-quarter decrease of 2.2 percentage points. Confidence among respondents aged 25 to 34 dipped the most, decreasing 8.6 percentage points to 36.5%.

  • Maintaining historical trends, men and younger employees remain confident in receiving raise, although overall index decreases significantly.
    • Despite both men and women indicating their decreased confidence in receiving a raise – with men’s confidence dropping 1.4 percentage points to 34.9% and women’s confidence dropping 4.4 percentage points to 22.5% – the gap between those levels (i.e., 12.4%) ranked as the highest measured since the first quarter of 2021. Additionally, nearly 45% of respondents aged 44 or younger expressed optimism in receiving a raise, while an average of 18% or less of those aged 45 or older felt the same.

  • Increases in Trust in Company Leadership Index stands apart as sole positive indicator.
    • Unlike the vast majority of this quarter’s WCI, the Trust in Company Leadership Index experienced a quarter-over-quarter increase of 5.4 points, moving from 100.1 to 105.5. Interestingly, those aged 65 and over indicated the largest increase in trust (i.e., 6.1 percentage points), despite the fact that older employees are historically less inclined to be as trusting of company leaders as their younger counterparts. Additionally, high-income earners (i.e., those earning $100,000 and over) bucked historical trends, slightly abandoning their typical deference toward company leadership and becoming the only income group to experience a quarter-over-quarter decrease in trust (i.e., 2.3 percentage points).

To view the entire study, please visit, https://www.yoh.com/hro-today-employee-well-being-study.

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