CareerBuilder Forecast: Companies Expect to Hire Fewer Workers

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Hiring is slowing from last year, and the trend is predicted to continue at least through the rest of the first half of the year, says a new report from CareerBuilder.

The job board’s quarterly employment forecast says the U.S. should expect somewhat slower hiring through the end of June than it saw for the same period last year. That comes on the heels of a first quarter that was slightly better than what CareerBuilder’s survey foresaw three months ago, but which was still down from 2012.

Of the more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals distributed across industries and company sizes polled for the report, 26% said they expect an increase in their full-time, permanent headcount this quarter. Last year, CareerBuilder reported 30% foresaw a Q2 increase, and later, found 34% actually did add staff.

The first quarter survey said 26% of respondents expected to add staff; 28% actually did. Still, that was down from 2012 when 33% of the firms in the poll added jobs.

Friday, the Labor Department is to release its jobs report for March. Expectations are that it will show about 200,000 new jobs created during the month. But an ADP jobs report yesterday raised doubts about those initial predictions when it came in at 158,000 new, private sector jobs created during the month. That was far below what economists were expecting.

Like other predictions about job growth, the CareerBuilder poll found employers more cautious now than they were last year.

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“The U.S. job market is in a better place today, but concerns over spending cuts, wavering global economies and other factors are weighing on employers’ minds,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “We expect continued stability and improvement as the year goes on.”

The decrease in hiring expectations cuts across all company sizes. Here’s how the full-time, permanent hiring in Q2 breaks down, according to the survey:

  • 50 or fewer employees – 17% to add, down from 20%  last year; those reducing headcount increased to 6% in 2013 from 5% last year.
  • 250 or fewer employees – 21% will add, down from 22%  last year; those reducing headcount increased to 7% in 2013 from 5% last year.
  • 500 or fewer employees – 22% will add, down from 25%  last year; those reducing headcount increased to 8% in 2013 from 5% last year.
  • More than 500 employees – 33% will add, down from 38% last year; those reducing headcount increased to 10% in 2013 from 7% last year.

However, the picture hasn’t significantly changed when it comes to the use of temps. Last year,m 34% of employers said they would be hiring contractors or temps in the second quarter. Now, 32% said they planned to do that. And 24% are planning to transition some contract or temporary staff into permanent employees in the second quarter, the same as last year.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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