EMPLOYEES, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? THE NEW YORK FED WANTS TO KNOW

 Am I Next? New York Federal Reserve Labor Survey of Experiences and Expectations.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has just launched another of its surveys of consumer expectations modules, this one related to the labor market, and will complement similar surveys that cover housing and credit accessibility. The goal is to convey current and future thinking about the labor market to economists, analysts, and others who may find this information useful in explaining current conditions and making a somewhat informed

“Every four months, SCE panelists are asked details about their current (or most recent) job. Respondents are asked about job transitions, and about their job search effort and outcomes (number of job offers and offer wages), over the last four months. The currently employed are also asked about their level of satisfaction with wages, non-wage benefits, and their prospects for advancement at their current job. In addition, the survey elicits respondents' expectations about job transitions over the next four months. Respondents are asked about the likelihood of receiving at least one job offer over the next four months, the expected number of offers, and the expected wages for these offers. The survey also elicits the respondents' "reservation wage" and retirement expectations.” A more detailed explanation of the survey goals, design, and content can be found at

Results from the survey …

Experiences

  • Among those who were employed four months ago, 89.8% were still with the same employer, similar to the proportion of 89.6% in the March survey. The rate of transitioning to a different employer declined from 4.3% in March to 3.8% in July, the lowest level since March 2014.
  • The proportion of individuals who reported searching for a job in the past four weeks increased from 19.4% in March to 22.7%, a level above the average proportions in 2015 and 2016. While the increase was widespread across all demographic groups, it was most notable for younger households (those age 45 and less), for whom the proportion of job seekers shot up from 22.7% in March to 28.2%.
  • 17.2% of the individuals reported receiving at least one job offer in the past four months, similar to the proportion this March. While the distribution of the number of offers was little changed from the previous survey, the average full-time offer wage received in the past four months declined from $58,880 in the March survey to $49,250.
  • Satisfaction reported by respondents with nonwage benefits at their current jobs continued to edge up: 67.1% of the employed respondents reported being satisfied with the nonwage benefits at their jobs, up from 59.9% in July 2016 and 65.1% in March. This increase was mostly driven by younger, college-educated and female workers.
  • On the other hand, satisfaction reported by respondents with promotion opportunities at their current jobs deteriorated: decreasing from 48.0% in March to 44.3%. The decline was most notable for lower-education workers (those without a college degree).

Expectations

  • Expectations regarding job transitions over the next four months among those currently employed were largely unchanged, with the average expected likelihood of remaining with the current employer at 85.6%. This was slightly down from 86.1% in March.
  • The average expected likelihood of receiving at least one job offer in the next four months declined from 24.9% in November 2016, to 22.5% this March, to 22.0%. This drop was primarily driven by males, for whom the average likelihood declined from 24.1% in March to 21.4%.
  • Conditional on expecting an offer, the average expected annual salary of job offers in the next four months declined from $54,590 to $50,790. Although this was its lowest level in a year, it still remains above 2014 levels. This decline was broad-based across demographic groups.
  • The average reservation wage—the lowest wage respondents would be willing to accept for a new job—declined from $59,660 in March to $57,960, its lowest level since March 2015. This series had been trending upwards during 2015 and 2016, but has declined since November 2016. While the average reservation wage declined for each demographic group, the drop was most pronounced for older (over age 45) and higher-income (household income of greater than $60,000) respondents.
  • The average expected likelihood of working beyond age 62 declined from 52.8% in March to 52.3%, its lowest reading since the series’ start in March 2014. The average expected likelihood of working beyond age 67, however, moved up slightly from 33.1% in March to 33.5%, but is still below the 2015-2016 average of 36.2%

It appears that the reported data, collected from the July 2017 survey panel indicated that the near-term outlook for the labor market appears to be weakening. According to the survey data, there was “an increase in the proportion of individuals who searched for a job, and a decline in the average full-time offer wage.” “Workers with promotion opportunities at their current jobs also declined”

For those seeking more information, it can be found on the New York Fed's website