Survey: Manufacturing job confidence, mobility on the rise

Randstad Index find four in 10 workers may look to switch jobs in next 12 months


The Randstad Manufacturing Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among manufacturing workers, increased 0.9 points to 51.9 in the second quarter of 2013. In addition to the increase in confidence levels, 44% of manufacturing workers say they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, rising 18 percentage points from the previous quarter.

Manufacturing came in with the highest job transition index (those indicating an interest in job searching) out of all industries examined by Randstad in the second quarter, which includes IT, healthcare, engineering, office and administrative and finance and accounting. The online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad during April, May and June, 2013, among 192 manufacturing employees ages 18 and older.

The number of manufacturing workers who believe more jobs are available rose a notable seven percentage points, increasing from 21% to 28% in the second quarter. Yet, fewer employees are confident in the future of their employers. In fact, this was the sole area where a decline (47% down from 53%) among manufacturing employees occurred between the first and second quarters of 2013.

“This quarter’s report underscores that manufacturing workers have a real sense of optimism about the number of career opportunities that exist today,” said Phyllis Finley, executive vice president at Randstad U.S. “In fact, figures this high have not been reported since well before the 2008 recession, and we believe this increase has a direct correlation to employees’ confidence in the overall economic recovery. Given this environment, employers need to deploy targeted engagement strategies that keep talent from taking other attractive offers.”

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, increases in inventories, particularly farm inventories that had been depleted by drought, drove job growth in the second quarter of the year.

More manufacturing workers believe the economy is improving

29% of manufacturing workers believe the economy is getting stronger, showing a slight uptick from the previous quarter’s 28%. Additionally, the percentage of workers that say the economy is getting weaker declined six percentage points from the first quarter of 2013, falling from 45% to 39%.

Percentage of workers likely to job search in second quarter skyrockets

44% of manufacturing workers say they are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months, rising 18 percentage points from the previous quarter. It is worth noting that the previous quarter’s job transition index was the lowest rating since 2005, at 26%.

Job outlook among workers brightens

The percentage of workers who believe more jobs are available rose seven points, increasing from 21% to 28% in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the percentage of manufacturing employees who believe fewer jobs are available decreased five points, falling from 50% to 45%.

Job confidence among workers rises slightly in the second quarter

The percentage of workers who are confident in their ability to find employment rose slightly, increasing from 42% to 44% in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the percentage of manufacturing employees who say that they are not confident in their ability find a job rose two percentage points to 27% this quarter.

Optimism in future of employers declines

The percentage of workers who are confident in the future of their employers fell to 47%, a drop of six percentage points from the previous quarter’s readings.

See more Q2 2013 Survey Highlights

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