The first quarter of 2014 revealed optimism among manufacturing and logistics workers, according to the Randstad Manufacturing & Logistics Employee Confidence Index. The index rose to 50.5, an increase from 48.0 in Q4 2013.
The quarterly survey also found workers' job security rose with the majority (63%) of manufacturing workers feeling it is unlikely they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, compared to 59% the previous quarter.
In addition, overall confidence in the strength of the economy grew for manufacturing workers this quarter. Two-in-five (39%) manufacturing and logistics workers believe the economy is getting weaker, a 12 percentage point decline from 51% in the last quarter of 2013.
Also, more than a quarter of workers (26%) believe the economy is getting stronger.
"Despite the slowdown of the manufacturing sector early in the year due to winter weather challenges, the industry is beginning to show signs of anticipated growth in 2014," said Traci Fiatte, group president, Randstad Staffing. "For example, economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the 11th consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management, with this month's Purchasing Managers' Index registering at 54.9%, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from March's reading of 53.7%.
"Also, the Commerce Department reported that orders for factory goods in the U.S. rose 1.1% in the first quarter of 2014," Fiatte added. "These reports and others continue to support estimates that the economy is regaining momentum as spring emerges, and we would expect to see demand for talent within the manufacturing and logistics industry to follow suit."