U.S. workers have become more pessimistic about their employers’ near-term business prospects, a new index shows.

Employee confidence in their employer’s six-month prospects fell to 47.6% in July from 53.4% ​​a year earlier, according to Glassdoor, a website that reviews companies anonymously from current and former employees.

The Glassdoor Employee Confidence Index has been tracking sentiment since 2016. The results were released publicly for the first time on Monday.

Overall, the index shows a steady rise in confidence since 2016 (with some disruption at the start of the pandemic), peaking in early 2022. The index has since fallen back to its lowest level since the survey began, with most workers turning pessimistic.

Within companies, mid- and senior-level employees saw the sharpest decline in sentiment, down 6.2 percentage points in the year to July 2023. In contrast, sentiment among senior and junior employees has changed little over the last year.

“This may reflect the pressure that middle managers may feel as companies scale back pandemic-era expansion,” the report said.

Directors and executives were more optimistic, with about two-thirds saying they were optimistic about their company’s prospects.

By sector, sentiment reversed across multiple sectors. The recent wave of layoffs in the information industry has led to a sharp drop in confidence.

Two years ago, more than 60 percent of tech workers were optimistic about the future, but that fell to 48.6 percent last month. Manufacturing has fallen 8 percentage points since July 2022, and other industries that have seen lower confidence include professional and business services and financials.

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