With the economy continuing to improve, more employers now say they plan to add headcount than said that last year or even as recently as six months ago.
CareerBuilder’s mid-year job forecast says 49 percent of surveyed employers report they expect to add full-time, permanent staff before the end of the year. That’s two percentage points than said that a year ago, and well-ahead of the 36 percent who planned to add staff at the beginning of this year. Just over a third plan to add temporary or contract workers in the second half.
A second forecast, Manpower’s Employment Survey for the third quarter, found that 24 percent of employers planning to add staff between now and the end of September. That’s the highest quarterly percentage since the recession, and two points higher than last year. When adjusted for seasonal variations, Manpower says third quarter hiring will look a lot like the just-ended second quarter.
Careerbuilder’s own third quarter forecast is more aggressive, predicting that 34 percent of employers will add full-time, permanent staff by the end of September.
The increasing pace of hiring can be clearly seen in The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index. It now stands at 129.11, the highest reading in almost 15 years.
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“The growth in the Employment Trends Index accelerated in Q2, suggesting strong job growth through the summer,” said Gad Levanon, Managing Director of Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research at The Conference Board. “The combination of solid job growth and nearly flat labor force growth should lower the unemployment rate to 5 percent by year end.”
His comments were echoed by CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson, who said the survey of hiring managers and HR managers shows, “There’s a favorable dynamic happening in the labor market today. Companies are feeling more financially secure and increasing their headcount.”
With the survey results indicating that 47 percent of employers also intend to raise starting salaries, Ferguson predicts hiring will become even more competitive. At the beginning of the second quarter, CareerBuilder’s survey then said 32 percent of employers planned to add staff by the end of June. The latest survey shows 39 percent actually did.