One thing many U.S. workers were conditioned to accept during the recent recession was stagnant wages. But with the economy rebounding, more workers than not say they expect a raise this year, according to a new survey by Glassdoor.com.
And they might not be deluded.
Earlier this year, another survey found that the vast majority of employers -- 93 percent -- plan to give employees raises in 2012. Only 60 percent of businesses granted pay hikes last year. In 2010, only 30 percent did.
Glassdoor's survey, released today, finds that for the first time in four years, more workers (43 percent) expect a pay increase in the next year than those who don't -- 38 percent.
The career website's latest quarterly survey shows that nearly half (46 percent) of the more than 2,000 adults polled expect their company's outlook to improve during the next six months. Unemployed job-seekers also are more upbeat, with more than a third saying that they expect to find suitable employment during the next six months, according to the survey, which looks at four measures of employee confidence.
Still, employed workers' feelings about job security and job-market prospects remain tempered, Glassdoor notes. Thirty percent of those polled said that they believe it's unlikely they could find a job that matches their level of experience within the next six months, an increase of 6 percentage points. Further, a third of respondents said they remain concerned about layoffs.
"Though consumer confidence is up and the unemployment rate is down, employees remain tentative about the market," Glassdoor's Rusty Rueff said in a statement accompanying the survey's results.
"On one hand, positive economic and company indicators are driving increased optimism around pay raises and company outlook," Rueff said. "But that optimism hasn't yet spilled over into individual job security or view of the job market."
The Glassdoor's survey also found the optimism was not shared equally. Some highlights:
- More men expect a pay raise than do women -- 45 percent of men noted that they expect an increase in the next 12 months, compared to 40 percent of women. The survey also showed that slightly more men (48 percent) than women (45 percent) expect their company's outlook to improve in the next six months. Glassdoor notes those statistics are considerably narrower, than a year ago, when only 28 percent of women were optimistic about their employer's future, compared to 50 percent of men, indicating that optimism among women has grown substantially, while it has ebbed slightly among men.
- Younger workers are most optimistic. More than half (53 percent) of those 18 to 34 years old say they expect their company's prospects to improve in the next six months; only 42 percent of the older workers, those 55 and older, said that. Nearly half of the younger workers (49 percent) say they expect to receive a pay raise, compared to 34 percent of the older workers.
But, job security remains a concern:
- One-third of employees (33 percent) worry that co-workers could be laid off in the next six months, with concern highest among employees in the West (39 percent) and the Northeast (36 percent), compared to 29 percent among those in the South and 31 percent for workers in the Midwest.
- Employees aren't as optimistic about their prospects should they lose their jobs, however. In fact, those who think it is "likely" they could find a job matched to their experience level dropped four points from the fourth quarter to 37 percent while 30 percent think it is unlikely and 32 percent are uncertain.
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