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U.S. Job Forecast and Hiring Trends to Watch for in 2014

2014 job forecastEver get stranded at an airport for hours thanks to weather-related flight delays? (Apologies if this has touched a nerve by rehashing your holiday plight.) But the idea is that airlines make a judgment call as to whether or not conditions are safe to proceed given external conditions beyond their control. According to our annual job forecast, this approach is much like the one employers are taking to hiring in 2014: Proceed slowly and with caution.

Debt issues in Washington, among other factors, continue to dampen an accelerated jobs recovery, according to a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals. Case in point: Nearly 1 in 4 employers (23 percent) say they’re expecting to either hire at a slower rate or not increase headcount at all until the debt ceiling is resolved in Q1.

Meanwhile, 24 percent of companies expect to bring on full-time, permanent employees in 2014, a number that has dropped slightly from last year.

Insights from Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation: “The general sentiment shared by employers whom CareerBuilder talks to every day is that there will be a better job market in 2014. What we saw in our survey was reluctance from some employers to commit to adding jobs until the outcomes of debt negotiations and other issues affecting economic expansion are clearer. As these stories play out and employers find their footing in the New Year, there is greater potential for the average monthly job creation in 2014 to exceed that of 2013.”

Watch for These 5 Hiring Trends

  1. Part-time hiring picks up. More employers (17 percent) are expecting to recruit part-time workers this year, while 12 percent said they will do so at least in part due to the Affordable Care Act.
  2. Look for “on-shoring” of jobs. In case you’re wondering what this term means, it’s the reverse of off-shoring. And there’s good news for some U.S. jobs that were lost as a result of off-shoring: Nearly 1 in 4 (23 percent) companies that did so brought jobs back to the U.S. last year while more than 1 in 4 intend to do so this year.
  3. Skills gap will…worsen? Unfortunately, half of HR managers say they’re stuck with open positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates. Even worse, nearly half (46 percent) say positions remain this way for more than quarter of the year.
  4. Training takes center stage. Instead of waiting for the so-called perfect candidate, about half of employers are instead planning to train those who don’t have experience in their industry and hire them – this number is up 10 percent from last year. How? About 1 in 4 are sending employees back to school.
  5. Building a pipeline with future generations. 1 in 4 hiring managers are planning to showcase their companies to high school students or even younger in 2014, hoping to lure these future candidates.

Top Takeaways

Type of positions. Nearly 1 in 4 employers expect to hire full-time, permanent staff; 1 in 10 remain undecided; 13 percent will decrease staff and more than half (54 percent) said things will remain the same. Meanwhile, 42 percent say they plan to hire temporary and contract workers, and 43 percent of them intend to transition some into full-time permanent staff.

Breakdown by industries. There’s a spotlight shining on STEM jobs this year, as more than 1 in 4 employers plan to create science, technology, engineering and math jobs. Meanwhile, sales and IT are looking good this year both in terms of where companies are looking to hire as well as provide the biggest salary bumps.

Small business are also cautious. It hasn’t been easy for nearly 2 in 5 small businesses with 250 or fewer employees to rebound from the recession. That’s why many of them will exercise caution when it comes to hiring as well.

Where are they hiring? While the West continues to fare better than other regions when it comes to hiring plans in 2014, it’s the Northeast alone where there are more employers expecting to add full-time, permanent positions year over year. On the other end of the spectrum, the biggest drop in the number of employers adding full-time, permanent positions will be in the South, while the Midwest houses the largest number of employers who expect to downsize staff.

Show me the money. Which group of workers can expect some more spare change this year? That would be specialized labor, as more than 1 in 4 employers will raise starting salaries for such high-skilled positions. Year over year, the same number of employers (73 percent) are planning to raise compensation for their existing people, but more employers (49 percent) are set to increase starting salaries for incoming employees this year, up 2 percent from last year.

Want more? We’ve got the full report. Click here to read it. And don’t forget to share your reactions with us in the comments below.

Deanna Hartley

About Deanna Hartley

Deanna Hartley is a senior copywriter and community manager on the creative services team at CareerBuilder, where she writes about issues that are top of mind for employers and recruiters – including talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. An avid social media user, Deanna is the face behind @CBforEmployers on Twitter as well as CBforEmployers’ Facebook and Instagram pages, so it’s easy to stay connected with her. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Deanna was a senior editor for the Human Capital Media Group, publishers of Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive and Workforce Management magazines. Deanna holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves caffeine, social media, pop culture and dogs – though not necessarily in that order.

TeleworkRec Good one and an interesting trend - thank you for sharing!


Hi Deanna,

May I add one more? Homeshoring. Rather than sending jobs overseas, they're given to home-workers.


Hi Deanna, May I add one more? Homeshoring. Rather than sending jobs overseas, they're given to home-workers.


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