Nearly half of U.S. employers (45 percent) plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the second quarter — a significant jump from 34 percent last year and the highest percentage for the quarter dating back to 2007, according to CareerBuilder’s latest forecast. Temporary hiring is also expected to experience a double-digit boost year- over-year with nearly half of employers (49 percent) planning to add temporary or contract workers over the next three months.
The national survey was conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between Feb. 16 and March 9. It included a representative sample of more than 2,300 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes in the private sector.
“This is the best forecast we have seen for the second quarter since we started doing this survey more than ten years ago,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of “The Talent Equation,” a book aimed at helping employers use a data-driven approach to hiring. “Nearly half of employers hired full-time employees in the first quarter and that momentum is expected to continue over the next few months. Companies say they are paying close attention to policies introduced by the new administration to assess the potential impact on businesses, but the hiring outlook is optimistic.”
Full-time and permanent hiring for Q1
A greater sense of confidence among employers was already evident in the first three months of the year. Forty-six percent of employers reported that they increased their number of full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter, outperforming the same period in 2016 by 9 percentage points. It is also the highest percentage reported for the quarter dating back to 2007. Eight percent decreased the headcount in Q1 2017, a slight change from 9 percent last year, while 46 percent reported no change in headcount and 1 percent was unsure.
Temporary hiring in Q2
The addition of temporary hires will continue to be strong going into the second quarter. Forty-nine percent of employers expect to hire temporary or contract workers over the next three months, up 12 percentage points from 37 percent last year and nearly double the percentage (26 percent) in 2011, when the statistic was initially tracked post-recession.
Hiring by region
Comparing regions, the West houses the largest percentages of employers expecting to add full-time, permanent employees (48 percent) and temporary or contract employees (54 percent) in the second quarter. The South and Northeast are following closely behind while the Midwest continues to trail other regions by a larger margin — though the Midwest is showing notable improvement compared to last year.
For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.