What Are Your Chances of Finding a New Job in the Fourth Quarter?

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We’re entering the final quarter of 2010, and, if history is any indication, the last three months of the year are always hectic. A mish-mash of holidays is nearing, tax season is on the way, you need to frantically revisit your new year’s resolution so you feel somewhat accomplished … so much to do and so little time. Thankfully, good news awaits us.

Employers will be hiring

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 21 percent of employers expect to add full-time, permanent employees this quarter. The bonus good news is that, for the last six quarters, actual hiring has been even higher than anticipated hiring. Therefore, if this pattern persists, we could see even more employers hiring than expected.

Although 10 percent of surveyed employers intend to downsize their staff, 65 percent will not change their total headcount. At first you might think, “That’s not good — that’s a lot of jobs not being created.” But that is also a sizeable portion of the work force that will remain employed. Sometimes a glass-half-full approach is the best way to handle this frustratingly slow economic recovery.

This stuttering recovery isn’t putting a complete freeze on hiring. In addition to the 21 percent of employers who will add permanent employees, another 27 percent will bring on temporary or contract workers this quarter. Better yet, 24 percent of hiring managers expect to shift some contract and temporary workers into permanent employees. On your job hunt, remember that a temporary or part-time job is often a solid way to start with an organization and eventually turn into a permanent employee. And even if the position doesn’t lead to a full-time gig, at least you know employers do need contract workers and will be hiring, which is steady income.

If you are interested in a temporary or contract position, these positions will see the most hiring:

  • IT
  • Administrative
  • Engineering
  • Finance and accounting
  • Sales and marketing
  • Creative/design

Perhaps the only topic workers care about as much as hiring is compensation. In the fourth quarter, 41 percent employers don’t anticipate a change in salary levels for their employees. However, 35 percent of employers expect increases of 3 percent or less. (Again, in this economy, even a small increase is something to appreciate, right?) Even better, 14 percent foresee an average increase of 4-10 percent for their fortunate employees.

How do workers feel about their situations?

Many analysts and experts have explained that our economic recovery is occurring slowly — perhaps too slowly for many of us. Yet, the CareerBuilder survey finds that 50 percent of full-time, employed workers are happier with their employment situation today than they were one year ago. The other half, however, are not. Why?

Twenty-nine percent of workers consider themselves underemployed, and of those workers 71 percent don’t feel as if their skills and years of experience are being utilized. Forty-five percent of those workers don’t feel challenged in their current role, and 30 percent don’t feel any autonomy in their positions.

As you might expect, 19 percent of these workers feel underemployed because the jobs they took in the midst of the recession were lower than their previous positions.

Some other highlights from the survey:

  • The Northeast and West will see the most hiring in this quarter
  • 26 percent of employers with more than 250 employees will increase headcount
  • 24 percent of employers with 51 to 250 employees will increase headcount
  • 27 percent of all workers don’t feel loyalty to their current employers
  • 25 percent of employers hired full-time, permanent employees in the third quarter (July, August, and September)

Read the press release for the survey here and see the full forecast here.

So how are you feeling going into the final stretch of 2010? Do you think this quarter is when you’ll find the job you’ve been looking for?