U.S. Worker Confidence Index™ Hits Record High in Q3 2019

Excited happy young woman sitting at table with growing stack of coins under a money rain isolated on gray wall background. Positive emotions financial success luck good economy conceptPHILADELPHIA, PA – American worker confidence hit a record high in Q3 2019, surpassing its previous all-time high set in Q1 of this year. Following a mid-year fall in Q2 2019, the national Worker Confidence Index™ (WCI) rose 11.8 points to 116.7 in Q3 2019. The Worker Confidence Index™ is a survey of U.S. workers from HRO Today Magazine and Yoh, the leading international talent and outsourcing company owned by Day & Zimmermann, which gauges workers’ perceptions of the 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.

Overall, the index grew from 104.8 Q4 2018 to 116.7 in Q3 2019. This is the largest quarter-over-quarter increase the index has seen in its nearly five-year history. Of the WCI’s four indices, the job security index was the only index to report a quarterly decrease. The remaining three – likelihood of a promotion, likelihood of a raise and trust in company leadership indices – all increased. Compared to the same time last year, those same three indices were higher overall, with the Job Security Index being the only index to fall, down by 2.7 points.


Americans’ perceived likelihood of a promotion saw the biggest jump quarter-over-quarter, rising from 110.1 in Q2 2019 to 133.9 in Q3 2019. Perceived likelihood of a raise saw the second-largest increase, going from 104.4 in Q2 2018 to 121.1 in Q3 2019. Both of these were the largest such increases quarter-over-quarter for these indices in the history of the WCI. Perceived job security and trust in company leadership saw minor falls and rises, respectively.


“With the WCI showing worker confidence at an all-time high and unemployment numbers remaining historically low, it shows companies are investing strongly in the most important part of any healthy business – their talent,” said Kathleen King, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Solutions, Yoh. “However, this good news does present a challenge. With high confidence and high unemployment, it means hiring managers, HR and businesses in general need to work that much harder to identify candidates and fill their employment gaps. Only by working with the best staffing partners and taking advantage of the most up-to-date recruiting technology can companies truly keep up in today’s competitive talent landscape.”


Other takeaways:

  • Workforce data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) remains consistent with findings regarding job security.

Despite a slight fall from 104.3 in Q2 2019 to 101.5 in Q3 2019, the job security index remains high. This follows workforce data from the BLS, which found that by the end of Q3 2019, there were 1.1 percent more workers than at the end of 3Q 2018, bringing the total number of people in the U.S. workforce to over 117.2 million. Americans, overall, are getting more jobs and keeping them longer.

  • Worker Confidence Index suggests the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) will increase at the end of 2019.

The WCI has correctly predicted the direction of consumer confidence for the next quarter’s end in 14 of the last 18 quarters. An increase in the WCI in the prior quarter would suggest an increase in the CCI at the end of the next quarter.

  • Millennials anticipate a promotion more than any other age group.

Millennials (those under 35 in the WCI) were the most inclined to anticipate a promotion compared to other age groups, with about 45% reporting a promotion is likely over the next 12 months. Those aged 35-44 (38.2%), 45-54 (20.8%), 55-64 (12.5%), and 65+ (3.7%) are all less confident in an upcoming promotion.


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