Glassdoor research | The job market is strong, but job seeker confidence remains low

The job market is strong, but job seeker confidence remains low

The job market is strong and looking like it did pre-pandemic, yet workers’ confidence has deteriorated, partly because of financial stress, new research finds.

The research from Glassdoor shows that employee confidence has dropped to its lowest level since 2016, with 46% of workers reporting a positive six-month outlook for their employer. This is down from 54% from the previous year.

Simultaneously, the ZipRecruiter Job Seeker Confidence Index was down by six points to the lowest it's been since 2022, indicating that overall worker optimism in the job market is low, perhaps unnecessarily.

Economists are attributing the combination of a relatively healthy job market and low employee confidence to financial worries within the workforce, as well as having come out of a thriving job market post-pandemic, CNBC reports.

Julia Pollak, Chief Economist at ZipRecruiter. “Overall, workers still have more leverage and more job security than before the pandemic.”

“I think job seekers comparing this environment to 2021 and 2022 do feel worse off,” she added. “It’s taking more effort to find a job, and jobseekers are searching under greater financial strain now.”

Job market confidence

Last month, the Office for National Statistics revealed that unemployment had risen and there was a cooling of the jobs market.

“Job vacancies have fallen below the million mark for the first time since the summer of 2021, when the reopening of economy created huge demand for workers. However, they still remain significantly above pre-Covid levels,” said Darren Morgan, the ONS Director of Economic Statistics.

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This suggests a job market where despite falling rates of unemployment and fewer job vacancies, vacancies still remain high when compared to before the pandemic, meaning the job market is still healthy for candidates.

Despite this, when compared to the number of vacancies over the past two years, workers and potential candidates are seeing fewer jobs on the market, making them less confident in the job market overall.

It’s unclear what the consequences of this perception will be, but with wages at an all-time high and sustained economic strain, workers are more likely to hold on to the jobs they currently have as opposed to re-entering the job market.

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