New Survey Reveals Shift in Employee Sentiment as More Companies Cut Pay and Perks

SAUSALITO, CA--(Marketwire - July 8, 2009) -

-- More Employees Willing to Make Concessions, Such as More Hours, Pay Cuts and Unpaid Leave, to Keep Jobs

-- 41% Concerned Company Will Lay Off Others in Next 6 Months; About 1 in 4 Think "They" Could Be Laid Off

-- About 1 in 3 Employees Expect a Pay or a Cost of Living Increase in Next 12 Months; 50% Do Not

-- 39% Expect Their Company Outlook to Be Better in 6 Months

-- About 1 in 3 Think It's "Unlikely" They Could Find a Job Within 6 Months If They Lost Their Own

Fewer employees(1) are expecting pay raises than reported in the prior two quarters and more employees say they are willing to take on additional responsibilities, work longer hours, take pay cuts and unpaid leave in order to keep their job, according to the Q2® Employment Confidence Survey of 1,278 employed adults conducted on its behalf by Harris Interactive®(2). The shift in employee sentiment occurs as more employees report their employers initiated cuts in pay and perks in the past six months.

The quarterly survey measures four key indicators of employee confidence in the areas of job security, salary expectations, re-hire probability and company outlook. In addition, the survey tracks the concessions employees are willing to take to keep their jobs. Highlights are below:

Employer Actions: Reports of layoffs remain stable, but more report cuts in pay, perks and unpaid leave

More than half (54%) of employees report their company has made changes to the number of staff, organizational structure, compensation and benefits, or other perks over the past six months. Of those reporting these changes, one of the most common scenarios was layoffs or communicating plans to lay off employees (58%), which is consistent with the first quarter (57%). However, more employees this quarter report their companies initiated other actions, including bonus reductions (21%), furloughs, unpaid leave or mandatory vacations (18%), job restructuring (16%), and pay cuts (15%), than last quarter.

Job Security: Layoff concerns edge down slightly from Q1, yet 41% concerned company will lay off others in 09

While slightly fewer employees (24%) say they are concerned they could be a victim of a layoff in the next six months than seen in Q1 (26%), 41% are concerned their employer will lay off employees other then themselves in the second half of 2009, down slightly from Q1 2009 (44%). Employees who work for companies that have already gone through layoffs in the past six months have more concerns: Of these, just over 3 in 4 (78%) think their company could let other employees go in the next six months and 39% are concerned they will be laid off.

Company Outlook: 86% believe their company outlook will stay the same or get better in the second half of 2009

Employees' company outlook remains unchanged from the first quarter. Nearly half (47%) expect the company outlook to stay the same, 39% expect the outlook to get better and just 14% expect the outlook to get worse in the next six months. Interestingly, more mature employees including those who are self employed (ages 55+) have stronger opinions about whether company outlook will shift up or down. Of these adults, 45% expect their company outlook to get better and 21% expect it to get worse, while 34% expect performance to stay the same.

Salary Expectation: Fewer employees expect pay increases; expectations lowest among employees in the West

Reality may be setting in as 50% of employees report they do not expect a pay raise or cost of living increase in the next 12 months, up from 40% in the fourth quarter of 2008, yet nearly one-third (32%) are expecting a pay raise or cost of living increase within the next year. It seems where you live may play into pay expectations. Employees in the west (21%) exhibit the least confidence in pay raises compared to those in other parts of the country: northeast (38%); midwest (33%); and south (36%)

Re-Hire Probability: Older workers and those currently unemployed more pessimistic about ability to get new job

If they were to lose their job, almost two-fifths (39%) of employees (including those self employed) believe they could find one matched to their experience and compensation level in the next six months, while 31% say it's unlikely and 28% are uncertain. Mature employees (55+), including those self employed, think it is unlikely (41%) versus likely (31%) while the inverse is true for younger employees (18-34) (including those self employed). Nearly half (48%) of those 18-34 say it is likely they would find a job, while just a quarter (24%) say it's unlikely. For those who are not employed but currently looking for work, optimism is lower. Of these, one in four (25%) think it is likely and 37% think it unlikely they will find a job matched to their experience and compensation in the next six months.

Concession Indicators: Salary cuts becoming more palatable; older workers less willing to work more hours

In general, employees report more willingness to make concessions in the second quarter than in prior quarters if it would help them keep their job. The most popular is taking on more projects and responsibility (71%) and willingness to work more hours (64%), but 42% say they are willing to take a cut in salary or wages, up from 30% in the fourth quarter of 2008. Although mature employees (55+) are less optimistic about finding a job if they were let go (44%), they are also less willing to take on more work (61%) or increase hours worked (56%), accept reduction in health and/or dental benefits (22%) and forfeit vacation or paid leave or a sabbatical (26%). Despite having lower compensation on average, younger employees (18-34) are most willing to make concessions, particularly in the areas of more work (76%), longer hours (71%) and giving up vacation or other paid leave (38%).


"The Glassdoor quarterly survey indicates employment confidence, like consumer confidence, may lag behind company and market events. In the second quarter, we're seeing employee sentiment that is more conservative and wary as the reality of the length of the current economic environment is setting in," said career and workplace expert Rusty Rueff, who has run global human resources departments at Electronic Arts and PepsiCo before co-authoring "Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business." "We all know industries and businesses are struggling to stay afloat in today's market and employees appear more sensitized to that, leveling expectations for compensation and showing a greater willingness to partner with employers and make concessions to keep their jobs versus being thrust into the open job market."

More details and methodology of the survey can be obtained by requesting a copy through

(1) For the purposes of this study "employees" were defined as U.S. adults 18+ employed full time or part time unless otherwise indicated.

(2) Harris Interactive® fielded the Q2 Employment Confidence study on behalf of from June 22-24, 2009 via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,261 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older, of whom 1,278 are employed full time or part time. The Q408 survey was the first and was conducted Dec. 16-18, 2008 among 2,281 U.S. adults 18+ of whom 1,331 were currently employed (full time or part time). The Q109 survey was conducted March 19-23, 2009 among 2,798 U.S. adults 18+ of whom 1,576 were currently employed (full time or part time). Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About is a career and workplace community where anyone can find and anonymously share real-time reviews, ratings and salary details about specific jobs or interviews for specific employers -- for free. Designed to deliver greater transparency around our work life, Glassdoor enables employees, job seekers, employers and recruiters to simultaneously see -- for the first time -- unedited employee and job candidate opinions about a company's work environment along with details of pay, benefits and CEO approval ratings. Glassdoor was founded in 2007 and launched its public beta in June 2008. Glassdoor is headquartered in Sausalito, Calif. and was founded by Richard Barton, Robert Hohman and Tim Besse. To date, Glassdoor has raised $9.5 million from its founders, Benchmark Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures.

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