News Article

UK – Employee Confidence Falls To Lowest Level In Four Years: Monster

Posted 5th September 2019 • Written by •

Confidence among UK workers has fallen to its lowest level in four years, according to the latest Monster Jobs Confidence Index.

The Monster Jobs Confidence Index stood at 62% in Q1 2019, down from 67% in Q4 2018. This is the lowest value of the Index since Q4 2015.

The index combines consumer and business confidence measures, labour market indicators and survey-based indicators. Business confidence had the largest impact on the performance of the index this quarter, as there was a considerable fall in the level of confidence businesses have compared to a year earlier.

Monster found that the UK’s current political situation and Brexit uncertainty are both harming confidence. Over a third, or 35%, of those asked said that the political landscape makes them feel unconfident about their job.

Despite unemployment falling to its lowest level since the 1970s, job confidence is low due to a lack of quality jobs and concerns about job security. The decline in business confidence has impacted this quarter’s index score, as well as levels of regional employment inequality.

Monster also asked workers about the likelihood of losing their job over the next six months. Half said that they feel confident in their current job. However, a quarter are unconfident about their prospects. In the longer term 42% said that they were confident in their ability to progress over the next five years, a slight uplift from last quarter.

According to the index, those with highest levels of education are most likely to feel confident about their employment. Over half, or 54%, of workers with a postgraduate degree said that they were ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ about their ability to progress in their careers. Workers whose highest qualification is at GCSE level, or equivalent, have lower levels of confidence, with 35% saying they feel confident about long-term career prospects.

Derek Jenkins, General Manager UK & Ireland Monster, commented, “It’s really disconcerting to see that confidence is continuing to drop amongst UK workers. Taking into account ongoing political turmoil in the UK and continued uncertainty around Brexit it’s understandable. It is also important to consider the quality of jobs we’re seeing in the UK and how this impacts job security.”

“In recent years we’ve seen a shift away from traditional part-time roles and an increase in gigging work and zero hours contracts,” Jenkins continued. “Although this gives the impression that more people are in work, this type of work is not suitable for everyone and can leave workers feeling demotivated and uncertain about their futures.”

“Like confidence, job quality is a personal opinion and there are some groups in society, such as students and carers, who appreciate and benefit from the flexibility,” Jenkins said. “Employers, should identify the type of work that is best for a person’s situation as that will contribute to their sense of security and in turn, the confidence they have in their employment. For some that will be a full-time or part-time permanent job, for others it will be gigging.”

Looking ahead, Monster said jobs confidence will probably continue falling.

“A change in Prime Minister, the threat of a general election, and ongoing Brexit uncertainty, will all cause concern for workers and business owners,” Monster stated. “This in turn will reduce levels of confidence in the employment market.”

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