In the last six months of 2017, a majority of U.S. employers anticipate hiring full-time, permanent workers, with more than half saying they expect to offer higher starting salaries to new employees, according to a 2017 midyear job forecast released by recruitment website CareerBuilder.

The report’s findings are based on national surveys conducted May 24-June 16, which included representative samples of 2,369 hiring managers and human resource managers and 3,642 full-time U.S. workers. The survey found that in the second half of 2017, 60% of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent workers, up from 50% in the same period last year; 36% of employers plan to hire part-time, permanent employees, up from 29% in the same period of 2016; and 46% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 32% in the same period last year.

A majority (53%) of the employers polled said they intend to offer more generous starting pay to new employees in the last six months of 2017, up from 39% in the same period last year. The results further indicated that 32% of employers plan to increase starting salaries on job offers by 5% or more. In addition, 66% of the employers surveyed said they expect to increase compensation for current employees before year end, with 34% saying they anticipate an increase of 5% or more.

A subset of respondents in the employer sample were asked about their motivations for offering higher pay. The findings showed that 72% of the employers feel they have to start paying higher wages because the market for talent has become increasingly competitive, with the majority saying this pressure applies to entry-level as well as experienced workers. While 17% of these respondents said they have to pay more only if the entry-level worker has a college degree, 24% said they have to pay more even if the entry-level worker has no college or training.

The study also looked at which industries are most likely to add to their full-time, permanent headcount in the second half of 2017. The results indicated that 72% of employers in information technology, 66% of employers in manufacturing, 64% of employers in health care, and 62% of employers in financial services intend to recruit additional full-time staff in the last six months of the year.

Moreover, the study found that across industries, the types of roles employers are most likely to recruit for in the second half of 2017 are those tied to skilled trades (15%), software as a service (14%), cybersecurity (13%), sales enablement (13%), talent management (13%), providing a good user experience (12%), managing and interpreting big data (11%), creating digital strategies (11%), social marketing (10%), e-commerce (10%), developing apps (10%), and healthy living (9%).

Looking at hiring patterns across geographic regions, the study observed that all regions are showing a year-over-year gain in the percentage of employers expecting to hire full-time, permanent employees in the last six months of 2017. Hiring activity was found to be strongest in the West, where 67% of employers said they are planning to add workers; followed by in the South, where 61% of employers reported plans to hire more workers.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 8

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