Since December 2007, approximately 6.9 million jobs have been lost in the United States. After months of stomach-turning fiscal activity, economists are being cautiously optimistic and employers, faced with a slowing decline in job losses, are tip-toeing carefully through the rest of the year.
The latest Job Forecast from CareerBuilder and USA TODAY shows that, while employers are feeling more confident about the job market, the majority plan to keep their staff levels the same for the fourth quarter (October – December). The survey of more than 2,900 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide found that continued moderation in job loss, restrained hiring and cautious compensation changes are expected for the remainder of 2009.
Here are some of the key findings and what they could mean for you:
- If you were laid off over the past year, make sure to keep bridges intact with your previous supervisor or HR department. Of employers who had layoffs in the last 12 months, one-in-four (26%) reported their company is planning to bring back some employees they let go earlier in the year.
- Employers are hiring, but it will still be restrained. At 68%, the majority of hiring managers don’t plan to make any staffing changes and 17 percent of expect to add headcount in the next quarter. And, while 10% anticipate a decrease in headcount, that’s down from 15% who answered the same question in Q3.
- Around the country, hiring in the South appears strongest for the rest of the year: 19% of hiring managers in the South expect to increase their full-time, permanent staff in the fourth quarter followed by 17% in the Northeast, 15% in the Midwest and 14% in the West.
- Pay levels are slowly being restored. Nearly one-in-five employers (18%) reported their organizations implemented pay cuts in the last 12 months. Five percent of these employers said they restored pay to previous levels in the third quarter while 12% plan to do so in the fourth quarter. Another 24% say they expect restore pay levels sometime in 2010.
- Employers will continue to be conservative with pay raises. Half of employers (51%) anticipate no change in salaries for full-time, permanent employees in the next three months. One-in-four (26%) expect to raise salaries between 1 and 3 percent, one-in-ten (12%) expect to raise salaries 4 to 10%, while 2 percent expect an increase of 11% or more.