Survey Reveals Best Employment Outlook Since 2006

HR & Safety

Trends to watch in 2015

Companies are starting the year with more job openings, according to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast. More than one-third (36%) of employers expect to add full-time, permanent employees in 2015, the best outlook from the survey since 2006. Salary increases: including raises for minimum wage workers: are also on hiring managers’ agendas.

Full-Time, Permanent Hiring

Thirty-six percent of employers plan to increase full-time, permanent headcount in 2015, a significant jump from 24% last year. Nine percent expect to decrease staff levels, an improvement from 13% last year, while 48% anticipate no change and 8% are unsure.

The percentage of employers hiring full-time, permanent employees in information technology (54%), financial services (42%), manufacturing (41%), and healthcare (38%) are expected to outperform the national average.

Hot Areas for Hiring

Hiring for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) occupations will continue to be strong, with 31% of hiring managers planning to create jobs in these areas over the next 12 months, up from 26% last year.

Looking at specific functions within an organization, positions tied to revenue growth, innovation, and customer loyalty will dominate in terms of new opportunities. Among employers planning to add full-time, permanent staff, the top five areas they are hiring for include:

  • Sales: 36%
  • Customer service: 33%
  • Information technology: 26%
  • Production: 26%
  • Administrative: 22%

Companies also expect to add more workers in emerging fields. Examples include:

  • Cloud, mobile, or search technology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Managing and interpreting big data
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Anti-terrorism
  • Robotics

Temporary and Contract Hiring

Temporary employment is expected to pick up over the next 12 months as employers struggle to fill in-demand roles and strive to maintain more flexibility in their workforce. Forty-six percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in 2015, up from 42% last year.

Trends to Watch in the New Year

1. Minimum wage increasing. At the center of one of the most debated issues of the year, minimum wage workers may be earning bigger paychecks going forward. Forty-five percent of employers expect to raise the minimum wage within their organizations in 2015. Of these employers, half (53%) will raise it by $2 or more per hour while one-third (32%) will raise it by $3 or more. Forty-seven percent will limit the increase to $1 or less. The majority of employers (69%) said they will pay $10 or more per hour. Of those, 39% will pay $12-$14.99 and nearly one in five (18%) will pay $15 or more.

2. Small businesses ramping up. While still the most cautious when it comes to expanding staffs, small businesses are planning to have extra hands on deck to meet increased market demands. Twenty-nine percent of small businesses with 250 or fewer employees expect to add full-time employees, up from 22% last year. Seven percent will downsize, an improvement from 9% last year.

3. Education requirements becoming stricter. As roles within organizations become more complex and data-driven, hiring managers have adjusted requirements for their job openings. Twenty-eight percent of companies say they’re now hiring workers with master’s degrees for positions that had been primarily held by workers with four-year degrees. Thirty-seven percent are now hiring workers with college degrees for those that had been primarily held by workers with high school diplomas: 65% of these employers attributed this to the skills required for positions evolving within their firms.

4. Part-time jobs increasing. Twenty-three percent of employers expect to recruit part-time workers over the next 12 months, up six percentage points over last year. While various factors will influence this trend, 14% of all employers stated they will likely hire more part-time workers in 2015 due to the Affordable Care Act.

The national survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll from November 4 to December 2, 2014, and included a representative sample of 2,192 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries.

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