Out-of-work employees can expect to find a slightly improved job market in the year ahead, a new study forecasts.
Research from CareerBuilder found that 26 percent of hiring managers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in the new year, up 3 percentage points from 2012.
While the number of employers who are boosting head counts is trending up, so is the number who are planning to reduce staffs: 9 percent, compared with 7 percent a year ago.
CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said that even though the majority of companies are in a better financial position than they were last year, employers are still assessing the implications of a weakened global market and a modest economic recovery in the U.S.
"The guarded approach to hiring that has been evident over the last few years was sustained in part by concerns over the fiscal cliff during the time of the survey," Ferguson said. "We don't expect 2013 to bring any big surprises in regard to employment; rather it will continue on a path of stability and gradual growth barring any significant economic disruptions."
Among small business specifically, 19 percent of companies with fewer than 50 employees plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up from 16 percent last year, while 24 percent of businesses with fewer than 250 workers plan to add full-time staff in 2013, up from 20 percent.
The research shows that sales and information technology jobs are the positions employers plan to fill most in 2013. Other jobs expected to be highly coveted by hiring managers include roles in customer service, engineering, production, business development, administrative, research and development, accounting, and finance and marketing.
New jobs are forecast to be most prevalent in the western and southern U.S. The study found that 28 percent of businesses in the West plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up from 24 percent in 212. In the South, 27 percent of employers are anticipating adding full-time jobs next year, up from 23 percent.
Temporary and contract hiring is also likely to increase in the coming year. The report projects 40 percent of employers will hire temporary staff in 2013, up from 36 percent last year.
Additionally, the research uncovered several trends it expects to take hold in 2013, including:
- Employers scouting talent at other organizations: Employers may come knocking, solicited or not. Nearly one in five workers was approached by another company during the last year even though he or she hadn't applied for a position with that organization.
- Employers increasing compensation: In an effort to retain and attract top talent for skilled positions, 72 percent of employers plan to increase compensation for current employees — up from 62 percent last year — while 47 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees, up from 32 percent last year.
- Employers creating the right candidate: Employers are taking measures to "re-skill" workers. Thirty-nine percent are planning to train people who don't have experience in their particular industry or field and hire them for positions within their organizations.
The study was based on surveys of 2,611 hiring managers and nearly 4,000 U.S. workers.