2015 Hiring Forecast Strong, Survey Finds

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Over one-third of employers expect to add full-time, permanent staff in 2015, the best hiring outlook since 2006, according to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast.

Thirty-six percent of employers plan to increase full-time, permanent headcount in 2015, an increase from 24 percent last year. Nine percent expect to decrease staff levels, an improvement from 13 percent last year, while 48 percent anticipate no change and 8 percent are unsure.

“The U.S. job market is turning a corner as caution gives way to confidence,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, in a statement. “The amount of companies planning to hire in 2015 is up 12 percentage points over last year, setting the stage for a more competitive environment for recruiters that may lend itself to some movement in wages.”

The national survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll from Nov. 4 to Dec. 2, 2014, and included 2,192 hiring managers and human resource professionals across various industries.

Hot Jobs

Employers hiring for information technology (54 percent), financial services (42 percent), manufacturing (41 percent) and health care (38 percent) jobs are expected to outperform the national average.

Hiring for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) occupations will continue to be strong with 31 percent of hiring managers planning to create jobs in these areas over the next 12 months, up from 26 percent in 2014. Companies also expect to add more headcount in emerging fields, including cloud, mobile and search technology, cybersecurity, Big Data analytics and robotics.

Among employers planning to add full-time, permanent staff, the top five functions they’re hiring for include sales (36 percent), customer service (33 percent), IT (26 percent), production (26 percent) and administrative (22 percent).

Temporary employment is also expected to pick up in 2015. Forty-six percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers this year, up from 42 percent last year. Of these employers, 56 percent plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into permanent roles.

Confidence in hiring is consistent across U.S. regions with the South reporting the biggest boost from 2014 (14 percentage points) in the amount of employers planning to add full-time staff. Thirty-six percent of employers in the South and West will recruit new full-time, permanent employees in 2015, followed by 35 percent of employers in the Northeast and Midwest. Eleven percent of employers in the West said they will downsize staff, the highest percentage nationwide.

Salaries Also Rising

Greater employment demand may help boost compensation. Eighty-two percent of employers plan to increase compensation for existing employees—up from 73 percent last year—while 64 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees, up from 49 percent last year. The average increase in salaries for both existing and new employees is projected at between 1-3 percent. Sales and IT professionals are the most likely to receive raises, although increases are expected for a variety of job functions, according to CareerBuilder.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

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