January 3, 2010 – The encouraging news regarding the economy may be easing hiring fears, as employers signal an increase in their plans to hire in the new year, according to CareerBuilder’s 2010 Job Forecast. While employers continue to closely monitor the progress of recovery for the U.S. economy, they are beginning to consider hiring strategies designed to preserve the health and growth of their businesses for the future. CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,700 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide across industries. “There have been many signs over the past few months that point to the healing of the U.S. economy, especially the continued decrease in the number of jobs lost per month, a trend that will hopefully carry over into the new year,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Although 20 percent of employers plan to add headcount in 2010, up from 14 percent last year, they still remain cautious in regards to their hiring. We're headed in the right direction but should not expect to see actual job growth until at least Q2 2010.” Twenty percent of employers plan to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees in 2010, up from 14 percent in 2009. Nine percent say they plan to decrease headcount in 2010, down sharply from 16 percent in 2009. Sixty-one percent don't plan to change staff levels, while 10 percent say they are unsure. Comparing selected industries, hiring is expected to increase in information technology, manufacturing, financial services, professional and business services, and sales in the coming year. Thirty-two percent of IT, 27 percent of manufacturing, and 23 percent of financial services employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in 2010, followed by 22 percent of employers in professional and business services and 21 percent in sales. Health care employers are also planning to expand staffs at 21 percent followed by 18 percent of transportation employers and 15 percent of retail.