Pay and promotions | Worker confidence drops as unease grows

Worker confidence drops as unease grows

The recent Worker Confidence Index (WCI) reveals a growing sense of unease among American workers about their present and future job prospects, echoing the persistent economic uncertainty gripping the nation.

In the second quarter of 2023, the WCI experienced a decline of 2.2 points, dropping from 110.9 to 108.7. This marks the second consecutive quarter of decreases, suggesting a consistent erosion of worker confidence.

The WCI gauges the perspectives of full-time workers across four crucial dimensions: perceived job security, anticipation of a promotion, expectation of a raise, and overall trust in company leadership.

Among the four indices encompassing the WCI, only perceived job security witnessed a modest increase, rising by 6.3 points from 95.9 to 102.2.

Conversely, the anticipation of a raise experienced the most substantial decline, plummeting by 7 points from 115.9 to 108.9—its lowest level in a year.

Alarmingly, less than one-third (29.8%) of surveyed workers expressed confidence in receiving a raise of at least three per cent during their next performance review.

The optimism surrounding promotion prospects also took a hit, with the perceived likelihood of a promotion dropping by 6.3 points from 124.2 to 117.9.

This sentiment echoes a broader trend, as less than one-in-four (22.8%) participants envision securing a promotion within the coming year—an additional 1.2 percentage point decrease from the previous quarter.

Notably, trust in company leadership, which had been the most consistent index, faltered during the second quarter, declining from 107.5 to 105.9.

However, 60% of individuals aged 34 and younger voiced trust in company leadership, signifying an encouraging outlook for future leadership dynamics.

This is the first instance of consecutive quarterly declines in the WCI since the early stages of the pandemic, when the index experienced three successive quarters of decline from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020.

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