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Job Confidence Dips Among U.S. Workers

New LinkedIn data shows that Americans are feeling less secure in their jobs than in January, and the unemployed feel very pessimistic.

By Sarah Lynch, Inc. (TNS)

The U.S. jobs market remains strong, but workers aren’t feeling especially optimistic.

Since the start of 2024, U.S. worker confidence in their ability to “get or hold a job right now” has taken a two-point dip, according to new data from LinkedIn’s ongoing Workforce Confidence survey, which records confidence scores on a scale from -100 to 100. Year-over-year, U.S. worker confidence was down four points in March, to just below 50.

Unemployed job seekers are feeling particularly pessimistic. While that sentiment is “typical,” according to the LinkedIn report, it’s worse this year. After a bleak end to 2023, unemployed worker confidence reached +12 this January, but has since plummeted to -2.

“Sentiments usually rise at the start of the new year, but that bump hasn’t held steady or overcome last year’s downtrend,” the report said. “Current confidence scores could be reflecting a leveling out of sentiments after that new year’s optimism, as well as pessimism about inflation and ongoing layoffs.”

Indeed, inflation remains high: the Consumer Price Index rose 3.5 percent in March. And layoffs, while low overall, continue to concern employees, according to a recent Glassdoor report.

Thus, with lower worker confidence and the quits rate falling to the lowest levels since 2020, employers may not need to worry about hiring and retaining talent as much as they did a few years ago during the Great Resignation.

But workers aren’t just feeling less confident—they’re also feeling less satisfied in their career development. That could be a morale problem for their employers. LinkedIn found that workers’ “outlook on progressing in their careers this year” has dropped three points from last year.

Other recent research reflects this finding, like the Gartner report that found fewer than half of employees felt supported in growing their careers at their organization. But it also identified a solution—clearer communication from leaders about how they can help their employees progress.

“When employees trust their manager and the organization—and they have a clear understanding of their organization’s career progression,” the report said, “there is up to a 26 [percent] increase in them feeling supported.”


(c) 2024 Mansueto Ventures LLC; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency LLC.