Companies Continue Upbeat Hiring Forecast

April 11, 2016 – U.S. companies in aggregate have added jobs every month for the last six years, and the latest forecast from CareerBuilder shows this trend will continue in the second quarter.

One third of employers (34 percent) plan to add full-time, permanent employees during the next three months and 37 percent plan to hire temporary or contract workers.

At the same time, U.S. workers are looking for better job opportunities, with one in four workers (25 percent) planning to change jobs this year.

“Overall, U.S. job growth has been consistent despite volatility in the stock market and weaker performances in global economies,” said Matt Ferguson, chief executive officer of CareerBuilder. “The vast majority of companies are either maintaining their headcount or adding new employees at various skill levels. This is promising news for college students approaching graduation and seasoned workers who want to re-enter the workforce or change jobs.”

The national survey was conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between mid February and March 17 and included a representative sample of more than 2,000 hiring managers & human resource professionals and more than 3,000 full-time employees.

Hiring in the first three months of 2016 outperformed the same period in 2015. Thirty-seven percent of employers hired full-time, permanent employees, up from 35 percent last year. The percentage of employers who decreased headcount (nine percent) is on par with last year. Fifty-three percent reported no change in their headcount while one percent said their company is undecided.

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Looking ahead, 34 percent of employers plan to add full-time, permanent staff in the second quarter, up from 32 percent last year. Seven percent expect to decrease staff, down slightly from eight percent last year. Fifty-five percent anticipate no change while five percent are undecided.

Industries expected to match or exceed the national average for adding full-time, permanent headcount in the second quarter are healthcare (50 or more employees) – 44 percent; financial services – 42 percent; leisure and hospitality – 41 percent; and information technology – 40 percent.

Temporary employment continues to be a popular option for companies, especially those unsure about the direction of the country during a U.S. presidential election year. Thirty-seven percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in the second quarter, on par with 2015. Thirty-three percent plan to transition some contract or temporary staff into permanent employees in the second quarter, up from 31 percent last year.

Other recent reports have shown a rise in the use of temporary workers to close talent gaps:

While large organizations are adding staff at a faster rate, the increased confidence level of small- and medium-sized businesses displayed in previous quarters is expected to carry over into Q2:

  • Companies with 50 or fewer employees – 24 percent plan to increase the number of full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 23 percent last year; those reducing headcount remained at four percent.
  • Companies with 250 or fewer employees – 29 percent plan to increase the number of full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 27 percent last year; those reducing headcount remained at six percent.
  • Companies with more than 500 employees – 41 percent plan to increase the number of full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 38 percent last year; those reducing headcount decreased from nine percent last year to eight percent.

With hiring remaining competitive, companies may be feeling increased pressure to stay competitive with compensation. While 25 percent of employers anticipate no change in salary levels in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, 25 percent expect to boost salaries by at least five percent. Forty-four percent anticipate there will be an increase of four percent or less while two percent expect a decrease and four percent are undecided.

From the employee perspective, workers are confident looking ahead when it comes to the job market, job security and pay raises, according to the Glassdoor’s first quarter ‘Employment Confidence Survey.’ Nearly half (46 percent) of U.S. employees expect a pay raise or cost-of-living increase in the next 12 months.

In addition, more than half (53 percent) of American employees (including those self-employed) believe if they lost their job they would be able to find a new job matched to their experience and current compensation levels in the next six months. This reveals the second-highest confidence in the U.S. job market since Glassdoor began its survey in 2009. It’s up 14 percentage points from the first quarter of the year.

“In 2009 our country faced its worst recession in years, and uncertainty made employment confidence weak,” said Rusty Rueff, a Glassdoor career and workplace expert. “Today, employee confidence about the job market, job security and the likelihood of a pay raise is among the highest it’s been in the past seven years.”

These reports follow a mostly upbeat employment report just released by the Department of Labor. Employers added 215,000 jobs in March as the U.S. unemployment rate rose slightly to five percent. Job growth occurred in retail trade, construction and healthcare while job losses occurred in manufacturing and mining.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media 

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