US worker sentiment at record low in Dec -Hudson
NEW YORK Jan 2 (Reuters) - U.S. worker confidence fell to a record low in December, reflecting increasing pessimism over personal finances and worries about the possibility of a recession, a survey released on Wednesday showed.
The Hudson Employment Index dropped to 87.3 points, the lowest ever for this gauge, from 91.9 in November. It was 102.7 a year ago.
"Amid increasing talks of recession, workers' outlook can be significantly shaped by what they see and hear in the news," Robert Morgan, a co-president at job placement firm Hudson Highland Group HHGP.O, said in a statement.
"In actuality, the situation may not be as bad as some believe," he added.
Economists expect U.S. private employers to have added 50,000 jobs in December, down from a November figure of 189,000, according to a Reuters poll.
Among the Hudson survey's components, the number of workers who anticipate hiring at their companies fell 2 percentage points in December to 23 percent.
The share of workers surveyed who expect their employer to shed jobs rose last month by 1 percentage point to 18 percent.
"In the new year, workers should understand that the situation can improve and their employers are still hiring," said Morgan. "The index registered its record high in early 2007, so clearly a lot can happen in just a few months."
The results are based on a national telephone survey of 9,055 working Americans during the month of December. The margin of error is approximately plus or minus 1 percent. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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