Job forecast the best in 3 years
Finally, some good news for the working masses: Nearly 3-in-10 employers (28 percent) reported they hired full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter of 2011, the highest since the first quarter of 2008, according to the CareerBuilder and USA Today first quarter hiring outlook. And that momentum is expected to continue.
"While employers are keeping a close eye on world events, their confidence levels in regard to recruitment have remained intact," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. "Job listings on CareerBuilder are up across all categories, from health care and technology to manufacturing. Our latest survey points to continued, measured gains over the next 3 months. As the nation moves toward greater financial stability, more employers are investing in talent for the long-term."
Other highlights from the survey included:
- Competition for highly-skilled workers has hiring managers worried. Thirty-three percent of employers are concerned that top performers will look for employment opportunities outside of their organization as the economy improves; while 14 percent reported they were already experiencing this problem.
- The need for temporary staff is still there. Twenty-nine percent of employers said they brought in contract or temporary workers in the first quarter and 26 percent plan to do so in the second quarter. And for temporary workers hoping to make the transition to full-time employee: 17 percent of respondents indicated this was a possibility they would be exploring during the second quarter.
- The West is winning. Thirty-three percent of hiring managers in the West expect to increase full-time, permanent staff numbers compared to 28 percent in the Northeast, 27 percent in the Midwest and 24 percent in the South. Don't count the South out, however. Hiring managers in the region indicate they are the least likely to downsize, with just 4 percent expecting to see a decrease in staff numbers, compared to 6 percent for the rest of the country.
- Small business is showing signs of improvement. Twenty-three percent of companies with 500 or less employees plan to recruit full-time, permanent employees in the second quarter, up from 19 percent last quarter. Seventeen percent of companies with 50 or less employees expect to add new employees, up from 14 percent last quarter.