Employers Project Strongest Hiring Forecast in 10 Years

Outlook mixed on impact of Trump administration policies

By Roy Maurer Feb 13, 2017
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Forty percent of employers plan to hire full-time employees in 2017, the strongest hiring forecast in 10 years and up from 36 percent at the start of 2016, according to CareerBuilder's annual jobs forecast.

Thirty percent of 2,391 hiring managers and HR professionals surveyed expect to hire part-time staff—up from 26 percent last year—and half anticipate adding temporary or contract workers, an increase from 47 percent in 2016.

Eight percent of employers across industries expect a decline in staff levels in 2017, an improvement from 10 percent last year. Forty-four percent anticipate no change, while 9 percent are unsure.

The national survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder in November and December 2016.

"Three in 4 employers reported that they are in a better financial position than they were a year ago, which is instilling more confidence in adding people to their payrolls," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. "One of the key challenges for employers will be bridging the talent gaps within their own organizations by either offering better wages or by helping to reskill and upskill workers."

The top five job categories expecting an increase in head count are information technology, customer service, production, sales and administration.

When asked how the Trump administration will impact hiring in 2017, 23 percent of employers predicted an increase in jobs while 27 anticipated no impact. Seven percent said they expect jobs to decrease, and 43 percent were undecided.

[SHRM members-only sample job description: Workforce Planner]

Additional highlights of the survey:

  • 66 percent of employers plan to increase salaries on initial job offers.
  • 63 percent said they expect employees across job functions to have some experience with social media. 
  • 62 percent rate candidates' soft skills such as having a positive attitude and being team-oriented as very important when recruiting.
  • 55 percent said they will train workers who don't have experience in their field and hire them in 2017.
  • 47 percent expect to increase the minimum wage at their organizations.
  • 41 percent said they will reach out to candidates via text messages to schedule interviews.

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