Hiring Among Small Businesses Forecast to Rise

Wages may also get a boost

By Roy Maurer April 2, 2015

Twenty-three percent of companies with 50 or fewer employees expect to add full-time staff over the next three months, up from 18 percent last year, according to CareerBuilder’s latest forecast.

The number of employers of all sizes planning to hire in the second quarter of 2015 is up six percentage points over last year, from 26 percent to 32 percent.

Eight percent expect to downsize staff, and 55 percent anticipate no change in staffing levels. Five percent are undecided about their hiring activity.

Employers in the information technology (49 percent), transportation (44 percent), financial services (40 percent) and health care (32 percent) industries expect to match or exceed the national average for adding full-time, permanent head count in the second quarter.

The national survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between Feb. 11 and March 6, 2015, and included a representative sample of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across various industries.

“Small businesses have been playing a larger part in the solid stretch of job growth the U.S. has experienced over several months,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, in a news release. “When you pair that with the fact that hiring has increased in a variety of industries and regional areas, it bodes well for workers seeking new and better-paying employment prospects.”

The study also shows wages may get an upgrade. Nearly 1 in 4 employers (24 percent) expect to increase salaries at least 5 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. Thirty-seven percent of information technology employers plan to do so.

Forty-four percent of employers anticipate salary increases of 4 percent or less in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, 27 percent anticipate no change in salary levels, just 1 percent expect a decrease, and 4 percent are undecided.

Companies of All Sizes Adding Staff

The forecast shows that companies of all sizes are expressing increased confidence:

  • Twenty-seven percent of companies with 250 or fewer employees plan to add full-time staff in the second quarter, up from 22 percent last year. Six percent plan to reduce head count, the same as last year.
  • Twenty-nine percent of employers with 500 or fewer employees plan to add full-time staff, up from 23 percent last year. Seven percent plan to reduce staff, an increase of one percentage point over last year.
  • Thirty-eight percent of the largest employers—those with more than 500 employees—plan to add full-time staff, up from 32 percent last year. Employers in this group planning to reduce head count decreased from 11 percent last year to 9 percent.

Temporary Hiring

Temporary employment is also showing an upswing. Thirty-seven percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in the next three months, up from 33 percent in 2014. Thirty-one percent plan to transition some contract or temporary staff into full-time employees in the second quarter, up from 26 percent last year.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy

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