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More employers plan to hire in 2010, study says

December 29, 2009 |  2:52 pm

Jobseekers

More employers expect to hire new workers in 2010 than in 2009, a potential harbinger of a slowing recession, according to a study released today by online jobs site CareerBuilder.com.

The data cover a variety of areas, including green jobs, retiree retention and regional hiring.

Compared to the 14% of employers who planned to add full-time, permanent workers in 2009, 20% said they would hire new employees in 2010, according to 2,720 hiring managers and human resource professionals surveyed in November.

Just 9% of employers intend to cut workers, around half of the 16% who said they would swing the ax in 2009. Another 61% said their staffing levels will probably stay the same.

Despite the forecasted boost, CareerBuilder.com Chief Executive Matt Ferguson said actual job growth likely will not arrive until the second quarter.

“There have been many signs over the past few months that point to the healing of the U.S. economy, especially the continued decrease in the number of jobs lost per month, a trend that will hopefully carry over into the new year,” Ferguson said.

Regionally, more employers in the western part of the country had hiring in their 2010 plans than anywhere else. Nearly one in four intended to boost their headcount, compared with 21% in the Northeast, 20% in the South and 16% in the Midwest.

Nationwide, 11% of employers plan to hire part-time help in 2010, compared with 9% a year ago. Fewer hiring managers said they would cut back on part-timers -- down to 8% from 14% in 2009. Three in ten anticipate hiring freelancers or contractors.

Among the 40% of employers who were forced to lay off workers during the recession, 32% said they planned to bring some of those employees back.

And as more older workers approaching retirement age ask to stay on longer, 27% of employers said they were open to retain soon-to-be retirees. In 2010, 16% of companies said they were likely to hire retirees from other companies and 10% said they would offer incentives to keep their current graying employees working longer.

Other data:

--32% of tech companies said they planned to hire, as did 27% of firms in the manufacturing sector, 23% in financial services, 22% in professional and business services, 21% in both sales and healthcare, 18% in transportation and 15% in retail.

--Of the companies that plan to hire, a third said they would take on tech employees, while 28% said they would add customer service jobs and 23% intend to boost sales force.

--For existing employees, 57% of employers said there will likely be higher salaries, though that is a smaller percentage than the 65% who said so heading into 2009. More than 35% of companies said they would raise salaries by 3% or more and 11% of employers noted that pay would jump 5% or more.

--New employees can expect to be offered higher salaries by 29% of employers, fewer than the 33% offering pay increases right off the bat in 2009.

--Slightly more employers -- 37% compared with 32% in 2009 -- said they would cut back on perks like bonuses, medical coverage, matching 401(k) contributions, even coffee and tea in the office. And 43% of companies will probably cut back on business travel.

--Still, 35% of employers will offer their workers more flexibility -- whether by allowing alternate schedules (73% of those businesses), telecommuting options (41%), compressed work weeks (32%) and summer hours (18%), for example.

--Fewer than half a percent of companies said their current staff was a failure, 37% plan to replace low-performing employees in 2010.

--The same percentage intends to create a “positive brand” by focusing more on social media. A fifth of employers said they would give social media responsibilities to a current employee, while 8% said they would hire a new worker for the job.

--More than 10% will likely add green jobs in the new year; 39% hope to hire bilingual candidates.

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: People search online for employment at Goodwill Industries' career resource center in Los Angeles in January. Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times
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