Survey: Bostonians hopeful about job market

Boston Business Journal

For the first time in 2004, Boston workers were happier with the local job market in June than workers nationwide.

The Hudson Employment Index for Boston rose sharply, to 108.1 in June, reaching its highest level this year. The 9.7-point jump from 99.4 in May indicates a strong growth in the Boston labor market and a marked increase in employee confidence locally.

The percentage of workers who report hiring in their companies has risen 5 percentage points from the previous month, with 32 percent of local workers reporting that their firms have plans to hire, and 16 percent believing their firms will be laying off (compared to 34 percent and 17 percent, respectively, nationwide), Hudson reported.

Boston workers are also encouraged with the job prospects in their market -- one-third of them are hunting for new job opportunities, as compared with 30 percent workers nationally, according to the Hudson report.

Bostonians' optimism also stems from their personal financial situation. Some 48 percent of local employees rate their own financial situation as excellent or good compared with 44 percent of American workers, Hudson found.

Also, the percentage of workers who feel that their finances are getting better has increased to 43 percent in June from 41 percent in May. This is the first time that the Boston Index has surpassed the national Hudson Employment Index, which also jumped to its 2004 high of 107.9, signaling continued strong job creation by the U.S. economy in the second quarter.

Nationally, the numbers of employees and managers who report that their companies are adding jobs are at their highest level of the year.

"The labor market seems to have regained its momentum after taking a breather last month," said Jeff Anderson, senior vice president of Hudson Global Resources, "The percentage of workers that report hiring in their companies has reached its highest level this year, recording a 17 percent increase over December of last year.

"The trend displayed by the Index in the first six months of the year leads us to believe that the recovery in the job market is likely to be sustained, even though there may be month-to-month fluctuations," Anderson said.

The Hudson Employment Index measures the U.S. workforce's confidence in the employment market. Based upon monthly telephone surveys with approximately 9,000 U.S. workers, the Index tracks aggregate employment trends around career opportunities, hiring intentions, job satisfaction and retention.

The margin of sampling error for the survey is about 1 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.








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