The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose in March, which is a sign consumers feel future job prospects will increase during the next few months. The index grew from 78.3 in February to 82.3 in March. This is the first time the index has surpassed a reading of 82 since January 2008.
Economists had predicted the index would take a tumble in March thanks in part to the harsh winter that occurred over the last few months, according to the Los Angeles Times. Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said consumer confidence should continue to increase as the months progress.
"Consumer confidence improved in March, as expectations for the short-term outlook bounced back from February's decline," Franco said. "While consumers were moderately more upbeat about future job prospects and the overall economy, they were less optimistic about income growth. Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue improving and believe it may even pick up a little steam in the months ahead."
Confidence among consumers is important as it can lead to increased consumer spending, which in turn can lead to companies adding new positions to their workforce. Businesses who are looking to add experienced workers to their staffs can enlist the services of operations recruiters.
Although the overall index grew over the past month, consumers' feelings about the workforce remained relatively unchanged from February. According to the index, 13.1 percent of consumers felt that jobs were plentiful.
Guy LeBas, managing director of fixed income strategy at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek consumers' feelings about the economy are judged more on the long term and not the short term.
"Consumers spend based on their expectations and not based on their current levels of income, and consumer expectations were at a very healthy level this month," LeBas said.