Job Outlook for Fourth Quarter Mirrors Pre-Recession

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Chicago — Oct. 4

CareerBuilder’s latest survey of more than 2,000 employers nationwide is pointing to a more upbeat fourth quarter.

Twenty-six percent of employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in the next three months, up 5 percentage points from 2011 and closely mirroring pre-recession estimates.

The study was conducted by Harris Interactive from Aug. 13 to Sept. 6 and included 2,494 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,976 workers across industries and company sizes.

One-in-five employers (22 percent) said the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election will likely impact their pace of hiring in 2013; 48 percent said it will have no impact while 30 percent are unsure.

Moreover, 32 percent of employers added full-time, permanent headcount in the third quarter, up from 26 percent last year. Twelve percent decreased headcount, similar to 2011. Fifty-six percent made no change to staff levels and 1 percent were unsure.

Looking ahead, 26 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the fourth quarter, up from 21 percent last year. Given that employers historically have been more conservative in estimates than actual hiring activity, the number may come in higher at quarter end.

Nine percent expect to downsize staffs, down from 10 percent last year, and 61 percent expect no change while 4 percent are undecided.

Temporary employees are accounting for a larger proportion of the employment mix within organizations. Thirty-eight percent of employers hired temporary or contract workers in the third quarter, up from 32 percent last year.

One-third (33 percent) plan to hire temporary or contract workers in the fourth quarter, up from 27 percent last year, and 23 percent are planning to transition some contract or temporary staff into permanent employees in the fourth quarter, up from 17 percent last year.

Source: CareerBuilder

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