Survey Adds To Positive Hiring Outlook

CareerBuilderThere’s a bit more to celebrate tomorrow night than the start of a new year. A report from CareerBuilder today says more employers are looking to hire next year; fewer are predicting layoffs.

It’s not a going-gangbusters report, so don’t spring for the top-shelf toasts. CareerBuilder’s survey of 2,700 hiring managers and HR professionals found 20 percent of them expect to add full-time employees in the new year. Last year 14 percent expected to hire. Still, that is a 43 percent.

Meanwhile, only nine percent are anticipating layoffs, a 44 percent decrease from the 16 percent last year who told CareerBuilder they expected to cut staff in 2009.

A positive sign to be sure. But with 61 percent of the respondents saying they foresee no change in staffing levels (10 percent didn’t know what to expect), job recovery is going to be measured in single-digit improvement.

“Although 20 percent of employers plan to add headcount in 2010, up from 14 percent last year, they still remain cautious in regards to their hiring,” says CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson. “We’re headed in the right direction but should not expect to see actual job growth until at least Q2 2010.”

Consumers must be sensing that the economy is improving, since the Consumer Confidence Index inched up again in December. The Index rose to 52.9 from an adjusted 50.6 in November.

The Index is a composite of various measures of consumer sentiment. Among them is an index of Expectations, which measures how the 5,000 households who are surveyed each month see the near term future. That index rose significantly in December to 75.6 from 70.3 the month before.

Other measures tempered that rise, including greater pessimism about current economic conditions.

However, the number of people expecting job growth increased to 16.2 percent from 15.8 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 20.7 percent from 23.1 percent.

The Conference Board’s job availability report for December won’t be out until next week, when a number of other economic measures including the Monster Index, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly employment report will also be issued.

CareerCast jobserf for DecAn early indication of how the job market looked in December was released by Adicio, provider of CareerCast job board software and operator of the CareerCast network, and Job Serf, a job search outsourcer.  The CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index rose two-tenths of a point in the month to 73.9. That may not sound like much, but December is typically a down month for job listings so any increase is a positive.

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