About one-fourth of U.S. employers plan to add staff – carefully – in 2013.
The annual CareerBuilder hiring forecast, released Thursday, said 26 percent of hiring managers surveyed in November said they intend to add full-time, permanent employees in the new year.
That’s up 3 percentage points over last December’s outlook for 2012. But those expected staffing gains are overshadowed by employers’ continued plans to add temporary and contract workers.
Forty percent of employers, up from 36 percent at this time last year, said they intended to meet increased market demands by turning to recruiting and staffing companies for contingency staffing.
The good news — at least when the survey was taken in November — was that even with looming worries about the fiscal cliff and health-care changes, the majority of employers perceived better economic conditions.
“More than 60 percent of employers reported that they are in a better financial position than last year, and more than 40 percent said their sales increased over the last six months,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, an online job board.
Still, he described the hiring outlook as guarded.
Nine percent of employers surveyed said they expected to cut staff in 2013. That was up from 7 percent a year ago.
Fifty-five percent said they planned no changes in headcount; 11 percent were unsure.
Sales and information technology topped the occupations where hiring is most likely.
According to the surveyed employers, 29 percent will add sales staff and 27 percent will add IT staff.
Other job categories and the percentage of employers expecting to hire: customer service, 23 percent; engineering, 22 percent; production, 22 percent; business development, 18 percent; administrative, 17 percent; research and development, 15 percent; accounting and finance, 14 percent; and marketing, 14 percent.
The survey reached 2,600 employers across size, industries and location. Hiring plans were slightly brighter in the West and South than in the Northeast and Midwest.