Heading into the fourth quarter, employers are “feeling more optimistic” about the economy and job market, but the majority plans to keep staff levels the same for the rest of the year, CareerBuilder and USA Today said Wednesday in their Q4 Job Forecast.
“While these are positive indicators, the pace of hiring will remain restrained,”
Regionally, employers in the South were more optimistic than employers elsewhere in the country.
Harris Interactive conducted the survey of more than 2,900 hiring managers and HR pros from Aug. 20 to Sept. 9.
Eighteen percent of employers said they increased their number of fulltime employees in the third quarter, unchanged from the second quarter. Fifteen percent of employers reported declines in staff levels, compared to 17 percent in the second quarter. Sixty five percent of employers reported no change in their number of fulltime employees.
For the fourth quarter, 17 percent of employers said they expected top add fulltime employees, 10 percent expected a decrease, and 68 percent expected no change. “Expectations for hiring...are falling in line with the previous two quarters, while planned staff reductions continue to trend down,” CareerBuilder and USA Today said.
Twenty seven percent of employers reported they laid off workers in one area, but hired in another, over the last year. The areas most likely to get new hires were “linked to revenue,” including technology, sales, customer service, and R&D, the survey said.
Twenty six percent of employers who laid employees off in the last 12 months said their companies are planning to bring back some employees they let go.
Of those rehiring workers:
* 23 percent said they’d started making job offers in the third quarter.
* 19 percent expected that to happen in the fourth quarter.
* 21 percent said they expected to start bringing back laid-off employees in the first quarter next year.
* 15 percent said they’ll wait until the second quarter of 2010.
“Others are holding off until the latter half of 2010 and beyond,” CareerBuilder and USA Today said.
Eighteen percent of employers surveyed said they’d cut pay in the last 12 months.
* Five percent said they restored pay to previous levels in the third quarter.
* Twelve percent said they planned to do that in the fourth quarter.
* 17 percent said they expected pay to return to previous levels in the first quarter next year.
* 7 percent predicted pay would return in the second half of 2010.
* One in 10 said their companies don’t plan to restore pay to previous levels until 2011 or 2012.
* 41 percent said they aren’t sure.
By region, “benefitting from growth in healthcare, education and energy, the South continues to produce more job opportunities,” CareerBuilder and USA Today said.
Nineteen percent of hiring managers in the South said they expect to increase their fulltime headcount in the fourth quarter, compared to 17 percent in the Northeast, 15 percent in the
As for compensation, 51 percent of employers expected no change for fulltime employees in the fourth quarter. Twenty six percent expected to raise pay between 1 and 3 percent, 12 percent expected raises of 4-10 percent, 2 percent expected to raise pay 11 percent or more, 6 percent said they planned to cut pay, and 4 percent said their companies were undecided.
- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram