2 in 5 Expect a Raise This Year

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There's much reason to believe the labor market just can't get over the hump. The unemployment rate, for instance, has just dipped below 7.0 percent for the first time since November, 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but is still above where it stood before the financial crisis. And last month saw the addition of only 74,000 new jobs in the U.S. economy, a lower figure than what was hoped for. But here's one reason to feel confident about the labor market -- 42 percent of workers polled by employment website Glassdoor in their quarterly employee confidence survey say they expect a pay raise in the next 12 months. That's the best result in two years since the first quarter of 2012, when the figure stood at 43 percent.

In addition, roughly a third of workers say pay raises are among their top work-related resolutions for 2014. "What this suggests is that employees are less concerned about pure survival, and are saying, 'Now I feel comfortable.' And so they are thinking about their salaries," as Glassdoor community expert Scott Dobroski told AOL Jobs in an interview.

The confidence report was conducted online by Harris interactive. Confidence was tracked by four indicators: job security, business outlook, job market optimism/re-hire probability and salary expectations. A total of 2,039 workers took part in the survey. Roughly half, or 954 survey respondents, are employed full-time and/or part-time.

Of course, the salary-raise question only applies to currently employed workers. And so a growth in the number of workers who expect a pay raise is not going to mean much to workers who have no job at all. Indeed, the survey was released just as Congress is in the midst of debating whether to extend unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed who have been out of work for up to 99 weeks. In December, Congress passed on extending the benefits for the first time since the financial crisis, as AOL Jobs has reported.

Signs of confidence
But there's other data that suggests even the unemployed are beginning to feel more bullish about the country's economic outlook. For instance, 35 percent of unemployed workers polled in this confidence report say they feel they will land a job that matches their skills in the next six months. Back in the second quarter of 2011, the figure stood at 25 percent.

Crucially, as Scott Dobroski pointed out to AOL Jobs in his interview, such a statistic is more than pure symbolism. "Confidence in hiring outlook is a known predecessor of consumer confidence. So if people spend more there will be more jobs. That's how it works," he said.

Glassdoor's employee confidence reports have repeatedly been revealing bullish outlooks among America's workers. The report for the third quarter of last year, for instance, revealed the lowest figure of workers fearing a major layoff since final quarter of 2008, as AOL Jobs reported. The 2013 low figure was 15 percent. Analysts at Glassdoor welcomed that report as a major turning point in the crisis. "We are finally seeing signs of stabilization within the job market," Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career expert, publicly said at the time.

What do you think? Do you expect a pay raise this year? Share your comments below.
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