It’s fairly common knowledge that many companies – especially retail – bulk up their temporary staff the last few months of the year to account for the holiday shopping season. But when it comes to full-time hiring, employers tend to hold off until the next fiscal year begins. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, both temporary and full-time employment is expected to be up in Q4, giving job seekers more opportunities to choose from through the end of the year.
The survey found that 29 percent of employers plan to add full-time, permanent staff, up from 25 percent in the same period in 2013. One in four expect to hire seasonal workers, including 43 percent of retailers.
“After experiencing incremental improvements over the past few years, the U.S. labor market is nearing a tipping point,” says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of “The Talent Equation.” “The jobs outlook for Q4 is now more in line with pre-recession forecasts as employers cast a greater vote of confidence in both permanent and seasonal hiring. What’s also encouraging is that recruitment plans for small businesses with more than 50 employees are keeping pace with larger organizations. We’ll continue to see a spotlight on jobs and wages in the upcoming elections and beyond as we strive for an even stronger employment environment in 2015.”
A look back at Q3
The optimistic hiring outlook for Q4 is a continuation of the third quarter’s strong hiring trend. Thirty-four percent of employers added full-time, permanent employees in Q3, up from 28 percent in the same period in 2013 – a notable increase. Ten percent decreased their staff, a slight improvement over 11 percent last year.
A look ahead to seasonal hiring
While retailers continue to dominate temporary hiring in Q4 (2 in 5 retailers expect to hire seasonal staff), companies of all kinds are looking for extra hands on deck. Twenty-six percent of employers across industries plan to take on seasonal workers in the last few months of the year. Almost half of these companies (42 percent) expect to transition some seasonal staff members to full-time permanent roles.
Not only do job seekers have more temporary opportunities to look forward to in Q4, they’ll also potentially see an increase in pay. Twenty-seven percent of employers expect to increase pay for seasonal workers over last year, with 63 percent of seasonal employers planning to pay $10 or more per hour and 19 percent doling out $16-plus.
Popular seasonal positions
Sales people are usually in high demand during the holiday season, but a variety of positions are expected to be filled this fourth quarter. These include:
- Customer service – 40 percent
- Administrative/clerical – 15 percent
- Shipping/delivery – 13 percent
- Accounting/finance – 12 percent
- Inventory management – 12 percent
- Information technology – 11 percent
- Sales (nonretail) – 11 percent
- Gift wrapping – 10 percent
- Marketing – 7 percent
- Hosting/greeting – 7 percent
- Public relations – 7 percent
Hiring by region and company size
Permanent and seasonal hiring is expected to pick up in all regions across the U.S. in the last few months of the year:
|Region||Permanent hiring in Q4||Seasonal hiring in Q4|
While small businesses with 50 or fewer employees remain cautious with their hiring plans, companies with 50-plus employers are keeping up with larger organizations when it comes to their hiring outlook for the rest of 2014:
|Company size||Permanent hiring in Q4||Seasonal hiring in Q4|
|50 or fewer employees||16%||17%|
|51 to 250 employees||34%||27%|
|251 to 500 employees||36%||27%|
|More than 500 employees||35%||31%|
Job seekers who were concerned that opportunities may dwindle as the year wraps up should be assured that employers are looking to hire for all types of positions, job types and levels.