Surveys by a trio of organizations found employers generally optimistic about growth in the year ahead, with more of them than at any time in the past seven years planning to add workers.
Released just this morning, CareerBuilder’s annual job survey found 36% of employers expect to add permanent, full time staff this year. That’s a 50% increase over what employers said at the beginning of 2014.
Even more employers — 46% versus 42% last year — say they’ll bring on more temporary and contract workers in the year ahead; 56% plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into full-time, permanent roles.
Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey, released early in December, found similar optimism among employers. The global staffing agency’s survey of 18,000+ employers found a seasonally adjusted 19% of them plan to add staff in the first quarter alone.
Manpower’s Net Employment Outlook of 16% for the quarter ahead is the highest it’s been since the first quarter of 2008.
ManpowerGroup CEO Jonas Prising, said, “There’s a little wind at our backs, as evidenced by the broadly positive hiring plans, and we see that as boding well for 2015.”
An even more optimistic prediction comes from the Employer Associations of America (EAA). Its 2015 National Business Trends Survey of 1,417 organizations found 52% of employers plan to add staff, a better than 10% increase over last year. As recently as 2013, only 34% expected to add jobs.
The positions most difficult to hire, the survey founds, are professional staff, cited by 44% of respondents followed by skilled production workers (42%). Consequently, notes the EAA report, “43% of employers plan to emphasize recruiting in 2015, up from 31% in 2014.”
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“The majority of executives surveyed are optimistic about 2015, are confident they will award pay increases, and look to invest in their existing employees, facilities and/or equipment.”
The EAA survey skews toward smaller employers, with just over half in the 1-99 employee category. In addition, 43% are in manufacturing.
STEM hiring is going to get even more competitive this year, predicts CareerBuilder. Last year, slightly more than a quarter of survey respondents said they expected to add full time, permanent science, technology, engineering or math jobs in the year ahead. Now, 31% say that. Hiring for IT (54%), financial services (42%), manufacturing (41%) and healthcare (38%) is expected to outperform the national average.
“The U.S. job market is turning a corner as caution gives way to confidence,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “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.”