PhotoAs 2012 draws to a close, there appears to be an air of growing confidence among American workers.

A recent survey by Randstad U.S., reveals workers are hopeful for a better year in 2013 when it comes to jobs and the economy. According to the survey, 57 percent of employees believe they are likely to get a pay raise in 2013 -- up 10 percent from last year.

Additionally, most employees (59 percent) believe the job market will pick up next year. Workers also feel positive about their companies, with 47 percent predicting their employers will expand their workforce in 2013 and 30 percent believing they will receive a promotion (up seven and six percent, respectively from October 2011).

However, nearly half (47 percent) of workers feel the economy has had a negative effect on their careers, yet only 15 percent of employees believe they might lose their jobs (down five percent from 2011). At the same time, most employees (78 percent) believe their companies have a great future.

"The outlook for next year certainly looks brighter for most employees. With the election and economic issues at home and abroad, a cloud of uncertainty had caused many employees to remain skeptical around future jobs and employability in 2012," said Jim Link, managing director of human resources for Randstad US. "Today we see employees are very positive about their future prospects and are hopeful to regain any economic momentum lost. As optimism increases, employee engagement will be increasingly important for companies' retention efforts. This is why it is so valuable for employers to analyze and understand what motivates their most important asset – talent."

Looking for improvement

Other data indicate employees are more optimistic when it comes to employer benefits and employment:

  • Just 16 percent of employees believe they will get a pay cut in 2013, down eight percent from last year
  • Forty-one percent of employees believe their company will cut back on benefits in 2013, down six percent from 2011
  • Only a third of employees, 33 percent, believe their company will fire people in the new year

When it comes to the job search, 47 percent of employees indicate they plan to explore their options when the job market picks up. While this number is down three percent from last quarter, it remains a top concern for companies as some struggle to retain top talent.

Most employees indicate positive attitudes towards their current jobs with over two-thirds, 68 percent, indicating their company makes an effort to keep them engaged. Also, 62 percent of workers expect to grow their careers with their current employers. Of workers surveyed, 79 percent indicated they are inspired to do their best and 77 percent are proud to work for their company or organization.

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