Worker Confidence Index™ Increases in Q4 2016 to Highest Level Since Study Inception

Sizeable Increase in Overall Index Led by Boost in Job Confidence,
Likelihood of a Raise and Trust in Leadership

career-planning.jpgPHILADELPHIA, PA – March 8, 2017 –
Led by significant increases in perceived likelihood of a promotion and trust in company leadership, American workers’ confidence increased for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q4 2016, according to the national Worker Confidence Index™, a survey of U.S. workers from HRO Today Magazine and Yoh, the leading international talent and outsourcing company owned by Day & Zimmermann.
The index gauges workers’ perceptions of the four key drivers of worker confidence: the perceived likelihood of job loss, the perceived likelihood of a promotion, the perceived likelihood of a raise, and the perceived overall trust in company leadership.


Overall, the index grew from 99.9 in the third quarter to 104.5 in the fourth quarter of 2016. Three of the four key drivers rose marginally, with “perceived likelihood of promotion” rising the most with an increase of 9.2 points in the fourth quarter. The only category that fell in the fourth quarter was “perceived likelihood of job loss,” which saw a slight downturn of 0.6 points.


The consistent increase in the Worker Confidence Index throughout 2016 suggests growing optimism about workers’ faith in their employment situation. Similarly, the decreasing perceived likelihood of job loss corresponds with the falling U.S. unemployment rate.


“Over the course of the past two years, we’ve seen that worker confidence correlates quite closely with the health of the financial markets and increasingly, with the health of the employment market. This most recent WCI is a prime example of that,” said Andy Roane, Vice President of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) for Yoh. “With the most significant increase in ‘perceived likelihood of promotion’ coming from those under the age of 35, it should be comforting to HR and hiring managers to see employees are feeling confident in their work environments and growth trajectory early in their careers. However, the WCI did show an inverse relationship between the likelihood of promotion and age, as the older employees are, the less confident they are in an upcoming promotion. It’s critical that companies dedicate as much time and resources to long-term workers as they do to new and prospective employees.”


What Hiring Managers Can Do Now

“While the WCI suggests that employee’s faith in their employment situation has been restored and employees are pleased with their jobs now more than ever, hiring managers should not be complacent with employee engagement,” said Roane. “In fact, now is the perfect time to assess and increase levels of engagement with employees across the organization. At Yoh, we counsel our clients to use positive worker sentiment as a foundation upon which to build upon and always strive to find better ways to create positive experiences, both for current and prospective employees.”


Other key takeaways of the Worker Confidence Index™ include:


  •  Men are feeling increasingly confident about their employment situation than women

While men reported a jump in concern about job security in 4Q 2016 after five quarters of relative stability, they were still more optimistic than women about the likelihood of promotion (25 percent versus 15.6 percent), likelihood of getting a raise of at least 3 percent (34.2 percent versus 22.8 percent), and trust in company leadership (49.4 percent versus 42 percent).


  • Job security has remained relatively consistent over the past year

Women continue to report higher levels of confidence in job security than men, as only 7.4 percent of women thought a job loss was likely versus 12.7 percent men. In general, minorities tend to anticipate job loss more than whites, while the youngest and the poorest respondents reported the highest concern about job security.


  • Trust in company leadership is at its highest since the inception of the study, with 45.6 percent indicating they trust company leaders

Each age segment expressed more confidence in the company leadership in 4Q 2016 compared to 4Q 2015. The largest change was among the youngest group 18–25, which was up 11.4 percent.


There also remains a direct relationship between trust and income; as income increases, so does trust. Additionally, people with a college education are more trusting of company leadership, and minority respondents are more likely to trust leadership than white respondents.

Survey Methodology
Each month, HRO Today magazine employs ORC International's CARAVAN® Omnibus Surveys. Approximately 333 interviews are conducted online each month. Respondents are individuals age 18+ who are working full-time in the U.S. Quarterly reports are issued based on 1,000 responses per quarter. Respondents are asked a series of four questions. Each question uses a Likert-type scale where respondents rate each question on a 1-5 scale, with one being “Very poor” and 5 being “Very favorable.” The four questions asked are:  Involuntary Job Loss Possibility, Likelihood of Promotion, Anticipation of a Raise of at least 3% and Trust in Company Leadership. To view the entire study, please visit,



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