Q2 2017: The Best Job Market in a Decade

April 7, 2017 Ladan Nikravan

Q2 hiring forecast

The U.S. economy has been adding a healthy number of jobs in recent months, and according to the latest jobs forecast, that trend will continue. Forty-five percent of U.S. employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the second quarter – a significant jump from 34 percent last year and the highest percentage for the quarter dating back to 2007.

Here are some other key takeaways from the forecast to consider for your recruitment strategy:

Temporary Hiring Up

Temporary hiring is also expected to experience a double-digit boost year-over-year with nearly half of employers (49 percent) planning to add temporary or contract workers over the next three months. Today’s employers are increasingly turning to temporary hiring when structuring their workforce, as it affords them the ability to remain flexible and agile in their staffing needs and therefore scale up their businesses with ease. They oftentimes look to temporary hiring as a vehicle to be able to test drive candidates to better determine which ones are best suited for permanent placement.

Q1 Saw Positive Growth

Employers were already feeling a greater sense of confidence in the beginning of this year. Forty-six percent of employers reported that they increased their number of full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter, outperforming the same period in 2016 by 9 percentage points. Eight percent decreased headcount in Q1 2017, a slight change from 9 percent last year.

Hiring Strongest in the West

Are you fighting for talent in your area? Comparing regions, the West houses the largest percentages of employers expecting to add full-time, permanent employees (48 percent) and temporary or contract employees (54 percent) in the second quarter. The South and Northeast are following closely behind while the Midwest continues to trail other regions by a larger margin – though the Midwest is showing notable improvement compared to last year.

Companies Closely Monitoring New Administration

According to Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, the momentum of the first quarter is expected to continue over the next few months. “Companies say they are paying close attention to policies introduced by the new administration to assess the potential impact on businesses, but the hiring outlook is optimistic.”

Organizations Must Find Ways to Stay Competitive

As competition for talent continues to heat up, make sure you prioritize employees’ career development as a low-cost way to keep them around. Lack of career opportunities is a top reason employees say they leave an organization, so making this investment is pivotal. And although it’s certainly a retention tactic, it’s also a recruitment one. Job seekers from entry-level to executive are more concerned with opportunities for learning and development than any other aspect of a prospective job. This makes sense, since continuous learning is key when crafting a sustainable career.

View the Infographic: 2017 Hiring By the Numbers

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