While it’s not safe to wear your “The U.S. Economy is Awesome” t-shirt yet, the jobs outlook for the second half of 2012 shows continued improvement over 2011, according toCareerBuilder’s 2012 U.S. Mid-Year Job Forecast, which was conducted by Harris Interactive© and included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals.
Who’s Planning to Hire?
- Forty-four percent of private sector employers reported they are planning to hire full-time, permanent staff from July 1 through December 31, 2012, an increase of 9 percent over the same period last year.
- For reference, 2011 had also shown improvement over 2010: 35 percent of companies indicated they planned to hire full-time, permanent staff, an increase of 7 percent from 2010.
- Employers plan to add a mix of new employees over the next six months, with each category trending up from last year: 44 percent say they’re hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 35 percent in 2011; 21 percent are hiring part-time employees, up from 15 percent in 2011, and 21 percent are hiring contract or temporary employees, up from 12 percent in 2011.
As Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, comments, the rate of recovery has been slower than expected, but we are seeing more widespread hiring:
“The rate of job creation has been slower than what we would have expected at this point in the recovery, but the market is stable. Two years ago, the hiring activity in the U.S. was driven primarily by large employers recruiting in metropolitan areas for a handful of industries or job functions.
Today, we see job listings in all industries, market sizes and company sizes. The outlook for the remainder of the year is better than 2011, but it will follow the same pattern of steady progress rather than a surge in job growth. Employers will remain careful as they assess barriers and opportunities for growth in the economy and their own businesses.”
Small Business Hiring
Hiring among small businesses is gradually gaining ground, but small businesses as a whole are still more cautious than other business segments and reported little change in their recruitment plans from last year. Of those business with 50 or fewer employees, for instance, 21 percent plan on hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 20 percent in 2011.
Hiring in Metropolitan and Rural Areas is Up
Job creation is picking up in both big cities and outlying towns. Of employers who are hiring in the second half of this year, 75 percent said they will be recruiting for positions in large metropolitan areas, while 39 percent will be hiring in non-metropolitan, rural areas.
Hiring By Region: Who’s Leading the Way?
In comparing regions, the West is the most optimistic in terms of hiring plans for July through December and reported the highest year-over-year increase for adding full-time, permanent staff.
- West: 47 percent of companies are hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 35 percent in 2011.
- South: 45 percent are hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 38 percent in 2011
- Northeast: 44 percent are hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 34 percent in 2011.
- Midwest: 40 percent are hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 32 percent in 2011.
Most In-Demand Industries
It’s no surprise that businesses are focusing first on those positions that most greatly impact revenue and innovation. Customer service remains in the No. 1 recruitment spot, with information technology and sales rounding out the top three.
- Customer Service – 24 percent
- Information Technology – 22 percent
- Sales – 21 percent
- Administrative – 16 percent
- Business Development – 13 percent
- Accounting/Finance – 12 percent
- Marketing – 11 percent.
More employers are also creating completely new job functions within their organizations to respond to evolving business demands like online security, “big data” and social media. When asked if their organizations currently have positions that didn’t exist in their firms five years ago, employers listed the following:
- Positions tied to social media – 16 percent
- Positions tied to storing and managing data – 15 percent
- Positions tied to cyber security – 12 percent
- Positions tied to financial regulation – 10 percent
- Positions tied to promoting diversity inside and outside the organization – 9 percent
- Positions tied to green energy and the environment – 8 percent
- Positions tied to global relations – 8 percent
Hiring in Q2 2012
Quarter by quarter, we’re seeing improvement, too: One-third (34 percent) of employers added full-time, permanent headcount in the second quarter of this year, up from 29 percent last year and 33 percent last quarter. Nine percent decreased headcount, while 56 percent made no change to staff levels and 1 percent were unsure.
Workers Are Leaving — and Employers are Starting to Take Notice
Workers are feeling better about their job prospects (or badly about their current situation), with one in four (27 percent) stating they are likely to leave their current jobs in the next 12 months, up slightly from 26 percent last year.
As the job market improves and more employees decide to make a move, the competition for in-demand talent is getting more intense:
- Thirty-nine percent of employers are concerned that top talent will leave their organizations, up from 35 percent last year.
- Twenty-one percent reported they lost top performers in the second quarter, up from 18 percent last year and 19 percent last quarter.
Want more? Get the full Mid-Year Job Forecast report.