Worker Confidence Plunges to New Low

March 6, 2003 ( - Not surprisingly, the confidence level of US workers plummeted in February to an all-time low - dragged down by worries about the nation's stumbling economy.

The Gallup/UBS Employee Outlook Index was 52 in February, down eight points from January. The survey started in April 2002 with an initial baseline of 72. According to the survey report, in addition to general economic worries, February’s survey also revealed that employees are increasingly fretful about future conditions of their own company. Gallup’s Future Company Conditions Index fell 11 points to a new low of 50 points.

When asked to theoretically choose between a 10% across-the- board layoff and a 10% across-the-board pay cut, if their company were faced with a serious financial problem, nearly three-quarters, 71%, overwhelmingly opted for the 10% pay reduction. The layoff option was chosen by 28% of respondents.

Results for the Gallup/UBS Employee Outlook Index are based on telephone interviews conducted February 3 to 6, 2003 and February 17 to 19, 2003 with a randomly selected national sample of 669 adults who are employed with non-governmental, for-profit companies having five or more employees, 18 years and older.