engineering news and insight

Q1 2013 Employment Report

Engineering Workers’ Confidence Dipped Slightly In the First Quarter


ATLANTA, May 6, 2013 — The Randstad Engineering Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. engineers, dipped slightly in the first quarter of 2013 to 54.9, falling 2.9 points. The quarterly study, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad Engineering, surveyed 112 U.S. workers employed in the engineering industry in January, February and March of 2013. This quarter’s survey found declining employee sentiments regarding the strength of the economy and their ability to find employment, but more workers are feeling secure in their current jobs. Also, engineering professionals had the highest employee confidence levels among all industries tracked by Randstad, including IT, administrative and clerical, manufacturing, healthcare and finance and accounting.

“Although the Engineering Employee Confidence Index contracted slightly in the first quarter of 2013, demand for engineers remains high, especially in the civil, environmental, petroleum and computer disciplines,” said Richard Zambacca, president of Randstad Engineering. “In fact, the engineering field is looking so positive that a recent U.S. News and World Report article heralded engineering as the new ’it’ degree. According to the report, while the unemployment rate for people with bachelor's degrees was 3.9 percent in December 2012, the rate for engineers was 2.0 percent.

“One promising sector is civil engineering, which is buoyed by a boom in new construction and the need to update the nation's aging infrastructure. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the current population of about 263,000 civil engineers across the nation will grow 19 percent by 2020.”

Engineering Workers’ Confidence In the Economy Drops in the First Quarter
Just over one-in-four (26 percent) engineering professionals believe the economy is getting stronger, a considerable drop from 34 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Engineers Less Optimistic About Job Availability
Just over one-in-five (21 percent) engineering workers believe that more jobs are available, representing a decline of two percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2012. Nearly half (47 percent) of engineering workers believe fewer jobs are available this quarter.

Drop in Engineers’ Confidence in Ability to Find New Jobs; Majority Remain Optimistic
Just over half (51 percent) of engineers feel confident in their ability to find a new job. While still a majority, this represents a decline from 59 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Worker Sentiment about Job Security Remains Strong
Seventy-three percent of engineers report they are not likely to lose their jobs over the next 12 months. This is a slight improvement from 2012’s fourth quarter reading of 68 percent.

Slightly Fewer Engineers Likely to Search for New Employment
Nearly four-in-ten (36 percent) engineers say they are likely to look for a new job within the next 12 months, a slight decrease of two percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2012.

To view the latest quarterly trends report, click here.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad Engineering from January 14-16, February 11-13, and March 5-7, 2013, among 3,631 ages 18 and older, of which 112 are employed in engineering. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Lesly.cardec@randstadusa.com.

About Randstad Engineering
Randstad Engineering has been matching clients with the expert engineering and technical staff needed to help their companies succeed since 1988. With degreed engineers and expert technical recruiters on staff who understand the unique challenges of your industry, Randstad Engineering partners with companies on their specific business goals by quickly connecting them with the expert professionals to help achieve them. With an extensive network of three million engineers and other technical experts—Randstad Engineering has the right talent to get the job done.

About Randstad
Randstad is a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services and the second largest staffing organization in the world. From temporary staffing to permanent placement to inhouse, professionals, search & selection, and HR Solutions, Randstad holds top positions around the world and has approximately 29,300 corporate employees and around 4,500 branches and inhouse locations in 39 countries around the world. Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands, Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.

Learn more at www.randstad.com and access Randstad’s panoramic US thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work.