Financial industry midyear forecast: Permanent hiring to remain steady

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Businessman looking through binoculars with a blue sky as backgroundBy Kevin Knapp, CFO of CareerBuilder

The economy has experienced slow but steady growth coming out of the recession. Consumer confidence is up, and businesses are hiring again. Yet a certain level of economic uncertainty still exists, and that has led companies to pull back on hiring permanent, full-time staff, relying more heavily on part-time or temporary workers instead. This provides for a more flexible workforce, allowing companies to more easily staff up or down based on their needs. This trend is happening across industries, and financial services is no exception.

CareerBuilder and surveyed financial services employers about their hiring plans for the back half of 2013. Their responses indicate that permanent hiring in the second half of 2013 will remain steady, while temporary and contract hiring is expected to increase over last year. Fifty-two percent of financial services employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, on par with last year. Twenty-six percent plan to hire part-time employees, up from 15 percent last year, and 31 percent plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 20 percent in 2012.

Q3 hiring plans
Looking at Q3 hiring plans specifically, 37 percent of employers surveyed expect to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 32 percent last year. Ten percent expect to downsize staffs, while 57 percent anticipate no changes to headcount.

Opportunities in metropolitan and rural areas
While the concentration of financial services jobs remains in big cities, job creation continues in outlying towns as well. Of financial services employers who are hiring in the second half of 2013, 84 percent said they will be hiring for positions in large metropolitan areas, while 30 percent will be hiring in non-metropolitan, rural areas – similar to last year.

Occupations experiencing growth
Employers are in need of workers to fill all types of financial services positions, yet certain occupations within financial services have been experiencing stronger growth than others. This is reflected in the increase in job listings on from Q2 2012 to Q2 2013. Personal financial adviser openings experienced the most growth in job listings, which were up 27 percent from Q2 2012.

Other occupations that experienced year-over-year growth in job listings in Q2 include:

More full-time hiring expected
While employers are moving forward carefully with hiring plans, they’ll respond to continued economic recovery with an increase in permanent hiring. Nearly 2 in 5 financial services employers plan to transition temporary workers to full-time status in the third quarter, reflecting the cautious optimism of today’s post-recession market. Overall, financial services workers should expect a stable hiring environment for the remainder of the year.

Kevin Knapp is the CFO of CareerBuilder. 

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