Nearly four out of 10 employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in the second quarter of this year, up from 33% in 2014, according to CareerBuilder’s latest forecast.
And a third of the employers surveyed say they plan to transition some contract or temporary staff into permanent employees in the second quarter, up from 26% last year.
“The brisk hiring anticipated for the second quarter comes against the backdrop of stronger sales, new product development and market expansion among companies of all sizes,” says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.
Ferguson added that "small businesses have been playing a larger part in the solid stretch of job growth the U.S. has experienced over several months."
One in four companies with 50 or fewer employees expect to add full-time, permanent staff over the next three months, up from 18% last year.
Among employers of all sizes, the number planning to hire in the second quarter is up six percentage points over last year.
Companies may be feeling increased pressure to become more competitive with compensation.
While 27% of employers anticipate no change in salary levels in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, 24% expect to boost salaries by at least 5%.
Nearly half of employers say they anticipate there will be an increase of 4% or less, while 1% expect a decrease and 4% are undecided.
However, 37% of IT employers say they expect to raise salary levels.
On the job vacancy front, 43% of the employers report having job vacancies that stay open for 12 weeks or longer.
Hiring in the first three months of 2015 outperformed the same period in 2014, with 35% of employers hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 29% last year.
Those who decreased headcount dropped two percentage points to 9%, while 55% reported no change in their headcount.
Looking ahead, 32% of employers plan to add full-time, permanent staff in this second quarter, up from 26% last year.
About the same number of companies, 8%, say they plan to downsize their permanent staff numbers.
Slightly over half, 55%, anticipate no change, while 5% are undecided at the moment.
Industries expected to match or exceed the national average for adding full-time, permanent headcount in the second quarter are:
- Information Technology - 49%
- Transportation - 44%
- Financial Services – 40%
- Health Care (50 or more employees) – 32%
The national survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between February 11 and March 6, 2015 and included a representative sample of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries.