Study: 2013 U.S. Job Forecast Better, But Still Cautious

Chicago — Dec. 27

Next year 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 2013, up three percentage points over 2012. The study also points to heightened competition for high skill labor and improved compensation trends.

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

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.

Moreover, more 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.

Fifteen percent of small businesses — those with 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.

Source: CareerBuilder