CareerBuilder’s Q4 2017 Job Forecast: Employers Anticipate Adding Jobs, Boosting Wages

Mary Lorenz

Everybody could use some good news these days, so here’s a little bit of good news about the job market: U.S. employers plan to increase staff and wages over the next few months. According to CareerBuilder’s Q4 2017 Job Forecast, 43 percent of employers plan to hire full-time permanent workers over the next three months, and 73 percent plan to increase salaries for those employees. Meanwhile, 35 percent of employers plan to hire seasonal workers, and 51 percent will increase pay for those workers.

While it may be too soon to tell if and how the recent hurricanes will affect employers’ hiring plans, employers seem ready to pay more for top talent. According to Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation:

“Our survey is pointing to a significant year-over-year gain in permanent hiring and a smaller boost in seasonal hiring in Q4, though the short-term effects of hurricane damage on the U.S. mainland remain to be seen. One of the most telling trends from our research is the fact that many employers are willing to increase pay for both permanent and seasonal staff. This speaks to the sharpening competitive dynamic among employers that we have seen throughout 2017.”

Here’s a look at some of the other findings from the forecast:

Year-Over-Year Increases in Hiring

In the third quarter, 44 percent of employers added full-time workers. Nearly the same amount (43 percent) plan to add full-time workers in this coming quarter, an increase from 34 percent who said the same last year.

Meanwhile, slightly more employers than last year will add seasonal workers to their payrolls to keep up with increased demand during the holiday season (35 percent in 2017, compared to 33 percent in 2016).

Of the employers who plan to hire seasonal workers, 70 percent expect to hire them for full-time permanent roles (up from 62 percent last year).

Bigger Paychecks Ahead

The vast majority of employers (73 percent) plan to increase pay for permanent, full-time workers in the fourth quarter, and 51 percent plan to do so for seasonal staff. Of the employers who plan to add seasonal staff, 45 percent will pay $15 per hour.  

Retail Hiring Outpaces Other Industries

Between Black Friday sales and holiday gift-giving, retail is gearing up for a busy shopping season, with half of retailers planning to hire seasonal workers. Two thirds of these employers will pay seasonal workers $10 or more an hour. After retail, the industry with the biggest hiring plans is customer service (38 percent), followed by accounting and finance (24 percent), administrative and clerical support (22 percent) and technology (18 percent).

West Leads the Rest

Across regions, the West leads the rest in terms of hiring plans. Nearly half of employers in the West (49 percent) plan to hire full-time, permanent staff – up from 39 percent last year – and 44 percent will hire seasonal staff, up from 40 percent last years. The South, Northeast and Midwest follow in that order in terms of both full-time and seasonal hiring.

Download the complete CareerBuilder Q4 2017 Job Forecast.

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