October 4, 2011 / 3:25 PM / in 6 years

Worker confidence in employers plunges - survey

Oct 4 (Reuters) - U.S. workers are much less optimistic about their companies’ outlook than they were three months ago, according to a quarterly survey by Glassdoor.com, a website dedicated to workplace issues.

The online poll of about 2,300 U.S. adults found 33 percent feel better about their company’s outlook over the next six months, the lowest level of optimism since December 2008. That marked a 7-point drop from the second quarter survey, while the number of people saying their company’s outlook has worsened moved up slightly to 14 percent.

The survey found stark differences in opinion between men and women. Thirty-eight percent of men are upbeat about their employers’ prospects, compared with only 28 percent of women. More men than women also expect pay increases in the coming year, while overall nearly half of all workers do not expect to earn more.

“Employee confidence in the job market and compensation levels appears to be at a pause, in much the same way the economy is stuck between growth and contraction right now,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert, who ran global human resources departments at Electronic Arts ERTS.O and PepsiCo PEP.N.

Among the survey’s other findings: more than a third of unemployed people say they are uncertain about being able to find a job at their skill and pay level in the next six months, the highest proportion who say so since the second quarter of 2010.

Among those currently employed, confidence in being rehired is higher, but it drops steadily in correlation with age. Only a quarter of those older than 55 are confident about finding a comparable job, compared with 47 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds.

The U.S. Labor Department will release September jobs data on Friday. Current forecasts call for a gain of 60,000 non-farm jobs and for the unemployment rate to hold steady at 9.1 percent. (Reporting by Nick Zieminski)

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