As the economy falters amid recent market volatility and mixed labor reports, second quarter employee confidence related to job security, pay raises and the job market has retreated to levels last seen in the height of the recession, according to a survey of 2,203 adults by Glassdoor.

Nonetheless, 30% of employees say they are more satisfied in their jobs than a year ago. In the second quarter of 2010, 26% said they were more satisfied with their jobs than a year earlier.

Glassdoor, a job listing website, attributed the higher level of job satisfaction to fewer employer cutbacks in recent quarters. In the second quarter 41% of employees said their employer had made changes to compensation, bonuses, healthcare benefits or other perks, down from 54% who said their employer had done so in the second quarter of 2010.

Forty percent said their employer had made job cuts, down from 43% in the second quarter of 2010—and the lowest level since Glassdoor initiated the survey in the fourth quarter of 2008. Twenty-nine percent of employees reported hiring freezes, down from 34% in the first quarter.

The number of employees reporting changes to their individual pay or bonuses is relatively flat from the first quarter (28% versus 29%). However, reports of furloughs and unpaid leaves is up slightly (19% versus 14%).

“It’s clear that the psyche of American workers has been measurably shaken as a result of recent discouraging economic reports,” said Rusty Rueff, a career and workplace expert at Glassdoor. “While company layoffs have abated in recent months, employees may be preparing themselves for what they think will be another round of belt-tightening if the economy doesn’t improve. Employees are more pessimistic about the future employment market than we’ve seen in awhile, which is a larger issue for the economy, as employment confidence ultimately is reflected in consumer confidence.”

Twenty-two percent of employees said they were concerned about potential layoffs, up from 17% in the first quarter—and the highest level since the third quarter of 2009. Likewise, concern about co-worker layoffs is at 34%, up from 30% in the first quarter and 31% in the second quarter of 2010.

Very few are expecting a raise, to boot. Forty-eight percent do not expect a pay raise in the next 12 months—the highest level in six quarters. Thirty-six percent do expect a pay raise, down from 40% in the second quarter of 2010 and relatively flat from the first quarter (35%).

And the employment outlook remains poor, with 31% expecting they would be unable to find a job within six months were they to be laid off, up from 28% in the first quarter and on par with the outlook a year ago (31%).

Conversely, those who believe it is likely they would be able to find a job fell from 40% in the first quarter to 39%.

The outlook for their employer is better, however, with 40% expecting their company’s outlook to improve in the next six months. Forty-eight percent said it will remain the same. Only 13% expect their company’s outlook to worsen in the next six months.



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