In the fourth quarter of 2020, the WCI fell by 17.0 points to 97.2 from last year, the largest year-over-year decrease since the inception of the study in 2014. The index, a survey of U.S. workers from HRO Today Magazine and Yoh, the leading international talent and outsourcing company owned by Day & Zimmermann, gauges full-time workers’ perceptions of the four key aspects of worker confidence: the perceived likelihood of job loss, the perceived likelihood of a promotion, the perceived likelihood of a raise and the perceived overall trust in company leadership.
For the final quarter of 2020, all four of the indices that comprise the WCI were down, with the raise index decreasing the most by 22.7 points to 96.2. This is the most the index has plummeted on a year-over-year basis. Perceived job security fell similarly, decreasing from 17.4 points to 85.0.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, companies will likely face more challenges surrounding their hiring needs and keeping key positions filled, while remaining focused on the well-being of their employees. While vaccines do provide hope on the horizon, there is still hard work in talent management ahead,” said Kathleen King, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Solutions, Yoh.
“A strong workforce strategy is more critical than ever to implement and continue to monitor worker satisfaction so talent feels as confident as possible in their employment in 2021. Highly skilled talent will always be in demand, and the teams at Yoh have been ensuring our clients have access to the very best despite the new employment normal we face today.”
- Despite worker confidence downturn, stock market ended on a high note.
Although COVID-19 brought instability to the economy and most notably worker confidence, the stock market ended 2020 on a high note as the S&P 500 rose 16.7 percent for the year. The Dow Jones Industrials was up 7.3 percent and Nasdaq increased 43.5 percent, its best annual performance since 2009. While health in the stock market has historically correlated with high worker confidence, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend many of the traditional indicators of economic health.
- Decline in worker confidence shown most among women.
Worker confidence among women declined by nearly twice as much as men, down 33.7 points versus 17.4 for men. By December of 2020, the Worker Confidence Index for men was 23.4 points higher than women.
- Although trust in company leadership stayed steady for most of 2020, it finally saw a downturn in the fourth quarter.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trust in Company Leadership Index was the one index that stayed relatively consistent. Many employees were feeling as though their company leadership was doing what it could to protect workers and remain afloat. However, the Trust in Company Leadership Index dropped by 9.7 points in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 101.1.