The nation's labor market continues to make incremental progress and that improvement has boosted optimism among Americans about their jobs and finding new employment, a new survey shows.
In the final three months of 2011, 41 percent of employees said it is "likely" that they would be able to find a job matched to their experience and earnings in the next six months, should they lose their jobs. That's up three points from the third quarter, according to the survey by Glassdoor, an employment research website.
The survey of nearly 2,600 adults -- about 200 of whom were unemployed -- also showed that pessimism among jobless workers fell to its lowest recorded levels.
In the fourth quarter, one in five (21 percent) unemployed job seekers believed it was "unlikely" that they would find a job in the next six months, down 11 points from the three months ending in September.
Results also showed a boost in in worker optimism about their employers.
The newest data showed that 40 percent of employees said that they expect their company's outlook to improve in the next six months, up seven points from the third quarter. Ten percent of those surveyed expect it to get worse, while half anticipate it will remain the same.
A greater number of employees also expect to get pay raises in the coming year, with 38 percent of workers anticipating salary increases, a 2 percentage-point increase from the previous quarter. Still, a greater percentage of workers (41 percent) expect not to receive a raise than those who do.
Glassdoor also noted that consistent with prior quarterly surveys, a greater number of men (40 percent) were more optimistic about receiving raises than women (32 percent).
Survey results also showed that fewer than 20 percent of workers expressed concern that they could be laid off -- consistent with prior surveys. But concern that co-workers could be laid off, expressed by 28 percent of respondents, dropped to its lowest in survey history.
Glassdoor noted that concern about being laid off remained highest among 35- to 44-year-olds (24 percent), compared to 13 percent for those 18 to 34; 15 percent for workers aged 45 to 54; and 15 percent for those 55 and older.
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