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Ready, Steady, Go: CareerBuilder’s Q2 2013 U.S. Job Forecast

Golfer swinging at sunset“Doing the bull dance. Feeling the flow. Workin’ it. Workin’ it.” These words, spoken by Potter (Kevin Nealon) in Happy Gilmore, came to mind when reviewing the results of CareerBuilder’s Q2 2013 job forecast, which included input from more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals. While it’s true that my mind may be largely comprised of lines from ’80s and ’90s romantic comedies, it’s also true that as a nation, we’re steadily moving along. We’re doing what we need to do to keep our heads above water. We’re trying to do something about the skills gaps we currently face, and companies are steadily hiring and moderately growing. We’re getting there — but we’re not doing the collective bull dance just yet.

INFOGRAPHIC: Hiring to remain stable over the next three months

Hiring for Q2 2013

According to forecast results, hiring remains stable for Q2 as U.S. employers continue to size up a market that’s producing moderate economic growth.

  • Twenty-six percent of employers plan to increase full-time, permanent headcount in the next three months, similar to projections for the previous two quarters, but trending below Q2 estimates last year. Employers historically have been more conservative in estimates compared to actual hiring activity, though, so that number may come in higher at quarter’s end.
  • Nine percent of employers say they expect to downsize staff, up from 6 percent last year. Sixty percent anticipate no change, while 5 percent are undecided.

A snapshot of hiring expectations for Q2:


Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, points to continued employer caution but a positive outlook for job creation as the housing sector rebounds:

“The U.S. job market is in a better place today, but concerns over spending cuts, wavering global economies and other factors are weighing on employers’ minds. We expect continued stability and improvement as the year goes on. When we look at listings on, job growth isn’t confined to technology and health care and other areas that have fared well post-recession.The rebound in the housing sector is having a positive influence on job creation for related industries that have been struggling.”

Q2 Expectations for…

Temporary Hiring:

While employers are still relying heavily on temporary labor, employer estimates for temporary hiring over the next three months are slightly lower than last year’s.

  • Thirty-two percent of employers plan to hire contract or temporary workers in Q2, down from 34 percent last year.
  • Just as in Q2 2012, nearly 1 in 4 employers (24 percent) are planning to transition some contract or temporary staff into permanent employees in the second quarter of this year.


  • Thirty-three percent of employers don’t anticipate a change in salary levels in Q2 2013 when compared to a year ago.
  • Forty-one percent expect to increase salary 3 percent or less, and 16 percent expect  increases between 4 and 10 percent.
  • Two percent of employers predict a salary increase of 11 percent or more.
  • Three percent anticipate a decrease in salaries, and 5 percent of employers say their company is undecided.

Download the infographic for all the details on hiring predictions, plans based on company size, and more in Q2 2013.

Amy K. McDonnell

About Amy K. McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the editorial manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.

While I remain optimistic this sluggish recovery has potential to gain speed, I fear politics will quash robust hiring. There is a force in Washington craving Austerity that could come at the expense of a critically needed tech hiring spree and its ensuing jump-start of our economy.  If we believe these hiring projections aforementioned to be true, we should blog, but not kid ourselves here in our insulated Silicon Valley bubbles. We should lobby for action by our leaders and press companies to return to best practices. We need to set aside "forecasts" and put people to work. Quit talking about hiring trends just hire! Corporate leaders and voters  do have the power avert a double dip recession. So all you 72 percent of Employers who plan to increase compensation this year? I'm watching and I've got talent.  Let's all quit talking and start writing offers - good ones with benefits and perks. Wages are the lowest in 40 years, Unions all but gone, so what are we waiting for? Perhaps that 24 percent of Smart Managers who plan on transitioning their contractors to permanent hires can start Monday.  Be the example and others will follow. Talent deserves it. Oh, and Obamacare has taken a huge burden off employers so educate yourself about how your company can offer healthcare without breaking the bank or cutting hours. No more excuses. @KRISTANKENNEDY kkennedy90016


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