Is Your Confidence Up or Down?

The bankruptcy of Detroit, once the heartbeat of U.S. auto industry, may give some engineers a reason to be melancholy, but confidence among engineers is up, according to the recently released Randstad Engineering Employee Confidence Index. The index, based on an online survey of 119 U.S. participants, shows a confidence spike that rivals pre-recession highs. At the end of the Q2 2013, the index reaches 61.9, a dramatic jump from Q2 2012’s 54.9.

“The index has reached over 60 only twice since 2008,” Randstad states. “In fact, this quarter engineering professionals had some of the highest employee confidence levels when analyzed on a sector basis, stronger than those in IT, office and administrative, manufacturing and healthcare, as tracked by Randstad.”

Randstad is a global staffing organization and HR service provider. The Engineering Employee Confidence Index was compiled by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad Engineering, a division of Randstad. Jay Rogers, VP of Randstad Engineering, said, “The Index measures engineering employee’s outlook on the economy, on their current job satisfaction, on turnovers of engineering roles. It’s often from the employee’s point of view.”

So how did the surveyors gauge engineers’ confidence? Rogers explained, “What we ask is how they feel about where they are in their current positions; if they feel like there will be any turnover, any layoffs, any change in their current position over the next 12 months; if they are going to be looking for a job, how confident they are to obtain another job; and if they think [the economy] is stronger, weaker, or about the same.”

The survey participants’ optimism for the economy also appears to be on the rise. In Q1 2013, 26% believed the economy was getting stronger. In Q2 2013, the positive responses jumped to 40%. In Q1 2013, 51% believed in their ability to find jobs. In Q2 2013, 62% believed so.

“While it is great to see an increase in confidence among engineering professionals, I’m not surprised, given the skills shortage among engineers,” said Richard Zambacca, President of Randstad Engineering. Rogers also observed, “The more talented engineering employees are with a diverse set of skills, including sophisticated software, the more confident they are on their outlook and job security.”

According to Rogers, “Right now, engineers are in high demand, with candidates receiving multiple job offers.” So does this index match your own experience? We’d like to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

For the recorded interview with Randstad’s Jay Rogers, please listen to the podcast below:

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Kenneth Wong's avatar
Kenneth Wong

Kenneth Wong is Digital Engineering’s resident blogger and senior editor. Email him at [email protected] or share your thoughts on this article at

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