Stronger Employment Trends Expected for the New Year, According to CareerBuilder’s 2011 Job Forecast

CHICAGO  (Profitable.com)  If finding a new job is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, your prospects are likely to improve to some degree, according to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast.  More employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in 2011 compared to 2010 with a continued emphasis on hiring in technology and revenue-producing fields.  The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive© from November 15 to December 2, 2010, included more than 2,400 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes. 

“More than half of employers reported they are in a better financial position today than they were one year ago,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.  “2011 will usher in a healthier employment picture as business leaders grow more confident in the economy.  Our survey indicates more jobs will be added in 2011 than 2010, but job creation will remain gradual.  The year will be characterized by steady, measured gains across various industries.”

Full-time Hiring

Twenty-four percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2011, up from 20 percent in 2010 and 14 percent in 2009.  Seven percent plan to decrease headcount, an improvement from 9 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2009.  Fifty-eight percent anticipate no change in their staff levels while 11 percent are unsure.

Part-time Hiring

Thirteen percent of employers expect to hire part-time employees in the next 12 months, up from 11 percent in 2010 and 9 percent in 2009.  Five percent plan to decrease part-time help, an improvement from 8 percent in 2010 and 14 percent in 2009.  Seventy-one percent anticipate no change in their staff levels while 12 percent are unsure.

Contract/Temporary Hiring

Businesses will be relying on interim solutions to help shoulder growing workloads.  One-third of hiring managers (34 percent) reported they will hire contract or temporary workers to supplement leaner staffs in 2011, up from 30 percent last year and 28 percent in 2009.  Of those hiring, nearly one-in-four (24 percent) expect to add more than last year.  Thirty-nine percent of employers plan to transition some contract or temporary staff into full-time, permanent employees.

Top Functional Areas for Hiring

Among employers who plan to increase their full-time, permanent headcount in 2011, Sales is the most popular functional area they will be hiring for as they focus on expanding their customer base and market penetration.  The top ten functional areas for recruitment include:

Sales – 27 percent
Information Technology – 26 percent
Customer Service – 25 percent
Engineering – 21 percent
Technology – 19 percent
Administrative – 17 percent
Business Development – 17 percent
Marketing – 17 percent
Research/Development – 15 percent
Accounting/Finance – 14 percent

Hiring By Region

Similar to last year’s forecast, more employers in the West plan to recruit new employees in 2011 than other regions.  Twenty-six percent of hiring managers in the West reported they plan to add full-time, permanent headcount followed by 24 percent in the Northeast and 23 percent in the Midwest and South. 

Plans to downsize staffs are trending below the last two years.  Eight percent of employers in the South expect to decrease headcount followed by 7 percent in the Northeast, Midwest and West.

Hiring By Company Size

While small businesses have been slower to recover, hiring is gradually improving among companies of all sizes.  Thirty percent of employers with more than 250 employees plan to increase full-time, permanent headcount in 2011, followed by 27 percent of employers with 51 to 250 employees, and 14 percent of employers with 50 or less employees.

Five percent of employers with 1 to 50 employees plan to reduce their workforce compared to 6 percent of businesses with 51 to 250 employees and 9 percent with more than 250 employees. 

Compensation

Forty-one percent of employers are concerned that their best talent will leave their organizations once the economy improves, as heftier workloads and longer hours take their toll on worker morale.  Sixty-one percent said they will increase compensation for their existing staff in 2011, up from 57 percent in 2010.  While most employers estimate the average raise will be 3 percent or less, one-in-ten (10 percent) expect the average increase will be 5 percent or more. 

Thirty-one percent will provide higher initial job offers to job candidates, up from 29 percent last year.  While most increases will likely fall within the same 1 to 3 percent range, 8 percent of employers expect to up initial job offers by 5 percent or more.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,482 U.S. hiring managers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 15 and December 2, 2010 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,482 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.97 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 22 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 40 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.