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Employers Cautiously Optimistic About Hiring in Q3

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RISMEDIA, July 10, 2007—CareerBuilder.com and USA TODAY released the results of their latest survey, conducted by Harris Interactive(R), tracking projected hiring trends for the third quarter of 2007. The survey, titled “Q3 2007 Job Forecast,” was conducted from June 1, 2007 through June 13, 2007 of 2,417 hiring managers and human resource professionals in private sector companies.

More than two-thirds (67%) of employers reported their companies hired new full-time, permanent employees at their locations during the first six months of 2007. Forty-three percent expect to hire the same amount of employees in the latter half of the year as the first half while 24% expect to hire more. One-in-five (21%) expect to hire fewer employees.

“Despite a slowing in economic growth and productivity, U.S. job creation continued in the first half of 2007 with gains concentrated in the services sector,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.com. “While the job market is slower than last year, it is not a slow job market. Employers remain cautiously optimistic in their recruitment plans with 35 percent reporting they will increase their number of full-time, permanent employees
at their locations in the third quarter. Five percent expect to decrease headcount while 52 percent expect no change.”


Consistent with previous surveys, hiring activity is expected to remain strongest in the South and West. Thirty-eight percent of employers in the West and 37% in the South plan to increase their staff levels compared to 33% in both the Northeast and Midwest. Planned staff reductions are similar for the Midwest and South at 5% each, followed by the Northeast at 4% and the West at 3%.

Comparing select industries, the greatest amount of employers planning to add headcount operate within the areas of sales, information technology and healthcare. Forty-seven percent of sales employers, 46% of information technology employers and 41% of healthcare employers (with over 50 employees) expect to increase staff in the third quarter.

They are followed by 35% in hospitality, 33% in retail, 31% in banking/finance and 28% in education.

In terms of staff cuts, 7% of both sales and information technology employers plan to decrease headcount followed by 5% each in hospitality, retail, banking/finance and education, and 3% in healthcare.


Employers of all sizes will be contributing to job growth in the third quarter. On the higher end, 41% of organizations with more than 1,000 employees plan to recruit new staff members. Forty percent of employers with 501 to 1,000 employers and 42% of those with 251 to 500 employees also plan to recruit. Comparatively smaller organizations will be doing their part as well with 35% of organizations with 51
to 250 employees and 27% of those with 50 employees or less anticipating an increase staff levels.

The threat of staff reductions is present across organizations of all sizes, according to the survey. Three percent of organizations with 50 or less employees and 3% of organizations with 51 to 250 employees plan to decrease headcount. This compares to 7% for companies with more than 1,000 employees, 5% for those with 501 to 1,000 employees and 4% for those with 251 to 500 employees.


“Operating within an increasingly employee-driven labor market, nearly one-in-five (18%) employers report they have seen a rise in the number of employees asking for a raise outside of the normal review period,” said Ferguson. “Responding to a more competitive recruitment arena and increased pressure for higher compensation from in-demand workers, employers expect to boost salaries to attract and retain skilled talent.”

Looking back on the second quarter, 55% of employers reported there was an increase in salaries for full-time, permanent employees. While 33% reported increases ranging from 1 to 3%, 21% reported a 4 to 10% range and 2% reported increases north of 10%.

Looking forward to the third quarter, nearly half of employers (46%) expect to increase salaries. Twenty-eight percent of employers estimate compensation levels will rise 1 to 3%. Seventeen percent expect to grow salaries 4 to 10% while 1% expect increases to exceed 10%.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,417 hiring managers and human resource professionals, (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions), ages 18 and over within the United States between June 1 and June 13, 2007. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for
respondents’ propensity to be online.

With a pure probability sample of 2,417, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-2 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

For more information, visit http://www.careerbuilder.com.

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