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CareerBuilder's 2013 U.S. Job Forecast Points To A Better, But Still Cautious Hiring Environment

CHICAGO, Dec. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 2013 is expected to usher in more jobs, but U.S. employers will continue to play it safe, according to CareerBuilder's annual hiring forecast.  Twenty-six percent of hiring managers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in the New Year, up three percentage points over 2012.  The study also points to heightened competition for high skill labor and improved compensation trends. 

The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Interactive from November 1 to November 30, 2012 and included more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 3,900 workers across industries and company sizes.

"More than 60 percent of employers reported that they are in a better financial position than last year and more than 40 percent said their sales increased over the last six months," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. "While this bodes well for job creation, employers are still assessing the implications of a weakened global market and a modest recovery at home.  The guarded approach to hiring that has been evident over the last few years was sustained in part by concerns over the fiscal cliff during the time of the survey.  We don't expect 2013 to bring any big surprises in regard to employment, rather it will continue on a path of stability and gradual growth barring any significant economic disruptions."  

Full-time, Permanent Hiring While the number of employers who are adding headcount is trending up from 2012, so is the number planning to reduce staffs – reflecting a mix of optimism and caution that has been characteristic of this recovery.  Twenty-six percent of employers expect to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2013, up from 23 percent last year.  Nine percent plan to decrease headcount, up from 7 percent last year.  Fifty-five percent anticipate no change in their staff levels while 11 percent are unsure.

The top two positions companies plan to hire for in the New Year – Sales and Information Technology - are also where employers expect to see the biggest salary increases.  Hiring managers plan to recruit full-time, permanent employees for:   

  • Sales – 29 percent
  • Information Technology – 27 percent
  • Customer Service – 23 percent
  • Engineering – 22 percent
  • Production – 22 percent
  • Business Development – 18 percent
  • Administrative – 17 percent
  • Research & Development – 15 percent
  • Accounting & Finance - 14 percent
  • Marketing – 14 percent

Temporary and Contract HiringMore companies are turning to staffing and recruiting companies and temporary workers to help meet increased market demands.  Forty percent of employers plan to hire temporary and contract workers in 2013, up from 36 percent last year.  Among these employers, 42 percent plan to transition some temporary workers into full-time, permanent employees over the next 12 months.

Small Business HiringFifteen percent of small businesses (500 or fewer employees) reported they plan to take out new lines of credit in 2013.  While small businesses are showing more confidence in their hiring intentions, there are still concerns over financial stability and market demand.  Plans to hire increased at least three percentage points across small business segments while plans to downsize trended up the same amount. 

  • 50 or fewer employees– 19 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up from 16 percent in 2012; 6 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 3 percent last year.
  • 250 or fewer employees– 24 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up from 20 percent in 2012; 7 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 4 percent last year. 
  • 500 or fewer employees– 24 percent plan to add full-time permanent staff in 2013, up from 21 percent in 2012; 7 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 4 percent last year. 

Hiring By RegionSimilar to previous forecasts, the West and the South house the most employers planning to recruit new employees over the next 12 months. 

  • West – 28 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up from 24 percent in 2012; 9 percent plan to reduce headcount, the same as last year.
  • South – 27 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up from 23 percent in 2012; 9 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 7 percent last year.
  • Midwest – 24 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up slightly from 23 percent in 2012; 10 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 6 percent last year.
  • Northeast – 23 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up from 21 percent in 2012; 10 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 8 percent last year. 

Navigating the Skills Gap in 2013There is an increasing number of areas where demand for skilled positions is growing much faster than the supply.  As companies work to remedy the situation and get qualified talent in the door, workers should be on the lookout for three trends in the New Year:

  1. Employers Scouting Talent at Other OrganizationsEmployers may come knocking, solicited or not.  Nearly one-in-five workers (19 percent) reported they have been approached to work for another company in the last year when they didn't apply for a position with that organization.  Sales workers were the most likely to report being courted at 33 percent, followed by 31 percent of Professional & Business Services workers and 26 percent of Information Technology workers.
  2. More Employers Willing to Increase CompensationIn an effort to retain and attract top talent for skilled positions, employers expect to provide higher compensation for both current staff and prospective employees.  Seventy-two percent of employers plan to increase compensation for existing employees – up from 62 percent last year – while 47 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees – up significantly from 32 percent last year.  Most increases will be 3 percent or less.
  3. Employers Creating the Right Candidate Instead of Waiting for OneEmployers are taking measures to "re-skill" workers themselves.  Thirty-nine percent plan to train people who don't have experience in their particular industry or field and hire them for positions within their organizations, up from 38 percent last year. 

*Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding or respondents being able to choose more than one answer.

Survey MethodologyThis survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive © on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,611 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,991 workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 1 and November 30, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,611 and 3,991, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.92 and +/-1.55 percentage points, respectively.  Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 49 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and talent intelligence to recruitment support. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

Media Contact Jennifer Grasz773-527-1164 Jennifer.Grasz@careerbuilder.com http://www.twitter.com/CareerBuilderPR

SOURCE CareerBuilder

Stock quotes in this article: GCI, MNI 
Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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