CareerBuilder's 2017 Midyear Job Forecast reveals a significant year-over-year jump in the percentage of companies hiring full-time, part-time, and temporary or contract workers from July 1 through Dec. 31.

More than half of employers anticipate offering higher starting salaries for new employees, and the majority indicates that bigger paychecks won't just be for high-skilled workers; they will extend to entry-level workers as well.

In the second half of 2017:

  • 60% of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent workers, up from 50% last year.
  • 36% of employers plan to hire part-time, permanent employees, up from 29% last year.
  • 46% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 32% last year.

"Events dominating national headlines have had a polarizing effect in the U.S., but most employers remain confident in their outlook for financial growth and plans for hiring," says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation.

"Job seekers stand to benefit not only from having more options, but also from the growing intensity in the competition for talent.

“Employers are moving quickly to recruit candidates and they are willing to pay more across job levels. They are also placing a greater emphasis on candidates having a positive experience when they apply to their firms.

“The current climate puts job seekers in a more advantageous position."

The national surveys, which were conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 24 to June 16, 2017, included representative samples of 2,369 hiring managers and human resource managers and 3,642 full-time U.S. workers across industries and company sizes in the private sector.

Who's Getting Pay Increases?

Looking at a subset of human resources managers, 72% feel they have to start paying higher wages because the market has become increasingly competitive for talent. The majority say this also applies to entry-level workers:

  • 24% say they have to pay more even if the entry-level worker has no college or training.
  • 17% say they have to pay more, but only if the entry-level worker has a college degree.
  • 19% say they have to pay more, but only if the entry-level worker has at least some college or training.

Among all employers (hiring managers and human resources managers), 53% report they plan to offer higher starting salaries for new employees over the next six months, a big jump from 39% in the same period last year.

Nearly one third (32%) plan to increase starting salaries on job offers by 5% or more.

Two-thirds of employers (66%) plan to increase compensation for current employees before year’s end, and 34% anticipate an increase of 5% or more.

What Are the Hot Sectors?

Information technology (72%) is leading the industries hiring in the back half of the year, coming in 12 percentage points higher than the national average for plans to add full-time, permanent headcount.

Manufacturing (66%), healthcare (64%), and financial services (62%) are also expected to outperform the national average.

Looking across industries, some of the most in-demand roles employers say they will be recruiting for during this timeframe are those tied to:

  • Skilled trades—15%
  • Software as a service—14%
  • Cybersecurity—13%
  • Sales enablement—13%
  • Talent management—13%
  • Providing a good user experience—12%
  • Managing and interpreting Big Data—11%
  • Creating digital strategies—11%
  • Social marketing—10%
  • E-commerce—10%
  • Developing apps—10%
  • Healthy living—9%

Hot Regions

All regions are showing a year-over-year gain in the percentage of employers expecting to hire full-time, permanent employees in the back half of the year.

The West leads with 67% of employers planning to add headcount, while the South remains on par with the national average.

The Northeast and Midwest came in below the national average, but are reporting healthy increases over last year.

  • West—67% are hiring, up from 53% last year.
  • South—61% are hiring, up from 50% last year.
  • Northeast—56% are hiring, up from 49% last year.
  • Midwest—53% are hiring, up from 46% last year.

How Do Companies Compare?

Full-time, permanent hiring over the next six months is also expected to increase across company sizes.

Midsize firms are leading the pack in the percentage of employers hiring, while small businesses are reporting the biggest year-over-year growth.

  • 50 or fewer employees—37% hiring, up from 27% last year.
  • 51 to 250 employees—67% hiring, up from 53% last year.
  • 251 to 500 employees—72% hiring, up from 64% last year.
  • 501 to 1,000 employees—75% hiring, up from 69% last year.
  • 1,001 or more employees—67% hiring, up from 61% last year.

What Is the Outlook?

Nearly half of employers (47%) plan to add full-time, permanent employees in the third quarter, up from 34% last year.

  • 7% expect to downsize staffs, relatively unchanged from 8% in Q3 2016.
  • 43% anticipate no change, and 3% are undecided.
  • 50% plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 37% last year.