Even though employers and employees alike are doing better four years after the Recession began, both groups say they are less optimistic about how they will be doing financially a year from now.

Dropping optimismAccording to "Sharpening the Focus on Benefits Strategy," the first in a series of research briefs stemming from Prudential's "The Seventh Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond," 14 percent of employers and employees cite severe negative economic effects, down from 27 percent  for employers and 22 percent for employees in 2010. Employers who say their financial position will be better or improving in one year dropped from 70 percent in 2010 to 54 percent this year; employees report a drop from 44 percent to 38 percent.

"Our research data shows that despite the indicators of economic recovery, it is taking longer for American employers and employees to regain full confidence in the future," said Steve Pelletier, president of Prudential Group Insurance. "The good news, however, is that this view of the future doesn't negatively impact benefits decisions. In fact, benefit strategies have been evolving into a main focus for businesses of all sizes."

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