December 28, 2005

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ Link: Good News on Hiring Plans and Pay Raises

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 7:58 am

Really, there are things to worry about. They are mostly of the long-term variety, and I’ll get to them in January 2006.

But it’s the end of the year, and it’s not hard to find economic reasons to be cheerful.

Here’s yet another one (HT EU Rota; bolds are mine):

Survey: Most Employees Can Expect Pay Raise

CHICAGO — Do you plan on finding a new job or just do a little better in your current job in 2006?

A new survey from CareerBuilder.com finds the employment outlook is bright.

Most of the 1,300 hiring managers surveyed said they plan to increase salaries on initial offers for prospective employees.

More than three-quarters of them look to boost paychecks for existing employees and more than half plan to boost pay by 3 percent or more.

“Fifty-four percent of hiring managers surveyed by CareerBuilder.com say they will increase their staffs in the coming year while only 9 percent will decrease them,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.com. “After creating over 2 million jobs in 2005, the U.S. is expected to add 2 million more in 2006, according to economist estimates.”

Hiring managers said customer service is the No.1 position they’ll be recruiting for in 2006.

Other popular positions include sales, retail, information technology, accounting/finance and healthcare.

Although solid hiring is expected across all regions, employers in the South and West are slightly more optimistic about their 2006 hiring plans.

The survey found that 55 percent of hiring managers in the South and West expect to increase their workforce, followed by 53 percent in the Midwest and 50 percent in the Northeast.

About a-third of the managers said they’re concerned about a shortage of skilled workers.

Nearly half said they plan to recruit from other companies or offer incentives for workers near retirement age to extend their employment.

“Job satisfaction levels have improved significantly compared to this time last year as employers step up employee retention efforts in the face of an increasingly competitive labor market,” said Ferguson.

It’s not like I’ve kept track, but that 54%-9% ratio of employers planning to increase vs. decrease staff strikes me as extraordinary. Of course, there are very visible exceptions, which is why it’s good to see a broad-based report like this with so much optimism. It’s also the first time in a few years that I’ve heard, both in this article and from Human Resources people I know, that (as was the case in the late 1990s) most companies are finding that hiring and retaining good people is their biggest challenge.

Happy New Year indeed.
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UPDATE: The Conference Board’s version of Consumer Confidence released today has it back at pre-Katrina levels (story at money.cnn.com). And of course its reading of 103.6 “beat expectations” of 102.5.

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