Worker confidence in their employers is sinking

U.S.f workers are becoming gloomier about the near-term business outlook for their employers, according to a new index.

Employee confidence in the six-month outlook for their employer fell to 47.6% in July from 53.4% a year ago, according to data from Glassdoor, a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies.

The Glassdoor Employee Confidence Index has tracked sentiment since 2016. The results were made publicly available for the first time on Monday.

Broadly, the index shows a steady increase in confidence since 2016 — with some interruptions at the start of the pandemic — toward a peak in early 2022. Since then, it’s fallen back to the lowest level since the survey began, with a majority of employees becoming pessimistic.

Within firms, sentiment has declined the most among mid-senior-level employees, falling 6.2 percentage points in the year through July 2023. By contrast, among both higher-level and entry-level employees there’s been seen little change over the last year. 

“This may reflect that in particular, mid-level managers may be feeling the squeeze as businesses pull back on pandemic-era expansion,” according to the report.

Directors and executives have a much rosier view, with roughly two-thirds saying they have a positive outlook for their firm.

By industry, sentiment reversed in several sectors. Recent waves of layoffs in the information industry drove a large drop in confidence.

Two years ago, more than 60% of technology workers had a positive outlook but that fell to 48.6% last month. Manufacturing has seen a decline of  8 percentage points since July 2022, and other industries where confidence has fallen include professional and business services and finance.

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