Best Route to a Full Time Job Might Be Temp-to-Hire Credit:

As yesterday's employment report indicated, unemployment levels are beginning to drop. But, in the new economy, many job-seekers looking for a full-time position might have more luck finding a temporary job, new research shows.

A new survey from CareerBuilder found that 36 percent of companies will hire contract or temporary workers in 2012, up eight percentage points since 2009.

The good news is that many of those temporary positions could turn into full-time jobs, with 35 percent of the companies surveyed planning to eventually hire their temporary staff on a permanent basis.

The search for temporary workers will begin immediately for some companies, with more than a quarter of those surveyed expecting to do their hiring in the first quarter of the year.

Eric Gilpin, president of CareerBuilder's Staffing and Recruiting Group, believes temporary jobs are playing an increasingly important role in the country's economic recovery.

"Our studies have pointed to a rise in these positions post-recession as companies address growing market needs," Gilpin said. "Employers are relying on temporary and contract workers to support leaner staffs, and in many cases will transition those workers to permanent roles."

Based on data from CareerBuilder's Supply and Demand Portal, staffing and recruiting positions in demand now include occupational or physical therapists, maintenance technicians, mechanics, network engineers, administrative assistants and customer service representatives.

The CareerBuilder research was based on surveys of more than 3,000 hiring managers and human resources professionals.