Confidence in the job market is a good thing, right? Experts are saying that if you run a manufacturing organization, it may not be quite that simple.
Recent studies of the manufacturing workforce suggest that
confidence might actually translate into upheaval in an individual organization, as workers feel more comfortable looking
for different opportunities outside of their current companies.
When overall job market confidence is high, workers are more
likely to leave their jobs in favor of taking a gamble on a new
place of employment.
And this issue is especially prevalent when confidence in the
overall job market is paired with an individual’s lack of confidence in their own organization. According to a recent study
by Randstad, a global provider of HR services and the second
largest staffing organization in the world, this perfect storm
of factors is precisely what’s causing over 40 percent of the manufacturing workers surveyed to say
they will look for a new job in the next 12 months.
Profile of the Manufacturing Worker
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, 44 percent
of manufacturing workers say they are likely to
look for a new job in the next 12 months, rising
an astonishing 18 percentage points over those
Brown, VP of Randstad Manufacturing & Logistics,
there are a few possible trends behind this. First of
all, says Brown, fewer manufacturing employees
are saying the economy is getting weaker, cou-
pled with fewer saying they have confidence in
the future of their existing role or position. “As a
result, manufacturing professionals have a low self
confidence in their job security amid an improving
outlook on the state of the job market,” explains Brown.
Some of this improved outlook on the overall market, says
Brown, comes from positive news around external factors like
energy costs. With reduced domestic energy costs compared to
western Europe and Japan, some overseas companies are send-
ing production stateside with the intention of exporting back
a significant portion of what’s produced. “I think employees
start to see that and are becoming optimistic and confident,”
On the other side of the coin, the factors that influ-
ence employees’ exasperation with their current positions
tend to center around pay, culture, and “added perks,”
explains Brown. While many businesses, contending with
the Affordable Care Act, sequestration, and other tax-relat-
ed uncertainty, stick to a wait-and-see mentality, it appears
As manufacturing workers face an
improving job market overall, are
they preparing to jump ship?
By Anna Wells