The Work Buzz: Job Market Forecast For 2013

CareerBuilder makes projections for the 2013 jobs market.

Employers are heading into the new year with cautious optimism. The economy has been growing at a gradual but steady pace and is poised to stay on this path in 2013, barring major disruptions. More employers are expecting to hire than in recent years, but the modest recovery, along with the weakened global market, means that the job market forecast for the new year is that companies will continue to play it safe.

This guarded approach to hiring was apparent in the results of CareerBuilder's 2013 U.S. job forecast*, which polled more than 2,600 hiring managers and human-resources professionals and more than 3,900 workers across industries and company sizes. According to the report, more than 60 percent of employers say that they are in a better financial position than last year. Twenty-six percent plan to add full-time, permanent employees, up three percentage points over 2012. However, due to mixed expectations for the coming year, the number of employers planning to reduce headcount is trending up as well. Nine percent of employers say they plan to decrease headcount, up from 7 percent last year. The "fiscal cliff" is likely on employers' minds; whether or not the U.S. goes over it may impact actual hiring behavior.

More: Jobs With Flexible Schedules: Easier To Find Than You Think

Temporary And Contract Hiring On The Rise

When companies are cautious about making major hiring commitments, they often turn to staffing and recruiting companies and temporary workers to help meet increased market demands. The study found that 40 percent of employers plan to hire temporary and contract workers in 2013, up from 36 percent last year. Among these employers, 42 percent plan to transition some temporary workers into full-time, permanent employees over the next 12 months, perhaps as they see how various economic factors play out over the course of the year.

Where The Jobs Will Be

It may not be surprising that the top two positions that companies plan to hire for in 2013 are sales (29 percent) and information technology (27 percent), two fields that have continued to experience healthy growth. Other roles that employers will hire for include customer service (23 percent), engineering (22 percent) and production (22 percent).

Location-wise, the West and the South will again lead other regions in hiring plans as they have in past forecasts. Twenty-eight percent of employers in the West plan to add full-time, permanent workers in 2013, up from 24 percent in 2012; 9 percent plan to reduce headcount, the same as last year. In the South, 27 percent of hiring managers anticipate adding full-time, permanent employees in 2013, up from 23 percent in 2012. Nine percent say that they will likely reduce headcount, up from 7 percent last year. Employers in both the Midwest and the Northeast expect to hire more than last year, but foresee headcount reduction ticking up as well.

Small Businesses Show Confidence

Small business hiring will rise, but likely so will headcount reduction, as companies remain unsure about financial stability and market demand. Hiring plans increased at least 3 percent in 2012 across small business segments, while plans to downsize trended up by the same amount. Nineteen percent of businesses with 50 or fewer employees plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up from 16 percent in 2012, while 6 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 3 percent last year. Of the companies with 500 or fewer workers, 24 percent plan to add full-time, permanent employees, up from 21 percent in 2012; 7 percent plan to make cuts, up from 4 percent last year.

Companies Fight To Close The Skills Gap

The demand for skilled positions has continued to grow at a much faster pace than the supply. However, companies are finding solutions to narrow the skills gap, which they'll continue to implement in 2013. Workers looking to fill highly skilled roles should pay close attention to the following three trends among employers in the new year:

1. Scouting workers from other companies: Employers will be more aggressive about approaching workers with the right skills, whether or not it's solicited. Nineteen percent of workers say they've been asked to work for another company in the last year without applying for the position. Sales workers have been courted the most, at 33 percent, followed by professional and business services workers at 31 percent and IT workers at 26 percent.

More: Best Jobs For 2013

2. More pay for qualified candidates: In an effort to keep and attract the best workers for skilled positions, employers expect to provide higher compensation for both current and potential employees. Seventy-two percent of employers plan to increase compensation for existing workers -- up from 62 percent last year -- while 47 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees -- up significantly from 32 percent last year. Most increases will be 3 percent or less.

3. Taking matters into their own hands: Often workers possess a base level of skills that, with the right training, can be built upon to meet an employer's needs. So instead of waiting for applicants with the right resume to come to them, employers are taking the initiative to "re-skill" workers to fill positions. Thirty-nine percent of employers plan to train people who don't have experience in their particular industry or field and hire them for positions within their organizations, up from 38 percent last year.

*Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding or respondents being able to choose more than one answer.

Matt Ferguson is the CEO of CareerBuilder.

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Companies who try to pirate competitors often learn the hard way they only gain problem workers. It is being more and more proven today those companies who train their staffs well in the right skills have far less problem people. A former man who I worked for in a past company made speeches to our industry organizations, in every speech he emphasised " companies who train their own people will last longer than those who didnt 75% of the companies in business (then) were not here 20 years later. Also companies who train and take care of their employees well do not need non-compete programs, instead those leaders in companies who do not treat people will will be beating down the doors to join loyal companies.

January 17 2013 at 4:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Start the new year with a fresh start! Working from home has now become a way of life for many...I work from home and love it so I thought I would introduce my fellow AOL friends to it! Working from home has been the best thing that has happened to me financially and physically! All you need is a computer and phone. If you want information on it, go to my site at Once there, you will need to input your name, email and phone number to enter into my site to get started and be on your way to making money from home! If this wasn't legit, I wouldn't be doing it so why not give it a try?
. Must live in US, UK or Canada to participate!:) If you dont believe me, do your research and reviews on it from youtube and online.

January 06 2013 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I worked for what used to be a "Family owned" business ( 1968-late seventies.)
It grew frrom about 400 to 1200 workers, Second best paying "Shop" in our city.
We used to get "Reasonable" raises most years. ( A tidbit over Inflation)
The thing is...... There was a sense of "Purpose" working there.
A sense of slowly "Getting ahead." The COMPANY and US were in it together!
Work "Ethic" was pretty good....... The "Family" got richer, and so did we. (Somewhat.)
It wasn't even a "Union Shop"
THe owners always were decent on us, and surprisingly....... Walked through the place with "Good morning, Bill, John, Sam" etc
Fast forward a few years...... A "Bain-like" company bought "US"
Decade by decade, things got worse. MUCH worse!
"They" had to answer to "Stockholders" now.
Stockholders don't want to hear "15% Margin?" "More
One "Efficiency-expert" even BRAGGED.... "I love firing people!"
That's the modern "Mantra"....... "If I can fire/layoff TWO people, I'm a genius!"
From an accountant point of view, it DOES make sense?
Two workers at $30,000 a year including benifits= Maybe $45,000 a year SAVINGS!
Geez? That's equal to About $250,000 a year Sales? ( Or more?)
The thing is....... When 900 workers are doing the work of 1200, from a management point of view, obviously we were overstaffed?
The REAL thing is....... 900 cannot really do as well as 1200..........
Pride and work ethic suffers. Rejects are the "New way of life."
Our company's reputation suffered big time!
Attitudes among workers became....... "THEY don't give a s**t about US, why should we care about THEM?"
People used to flock to work there. A future. A REAL future. After 10 years, you maybe even could risk buying a home for your family.
Now? Just ANOTHER dead end shop. $10-$11 an hour = Just "Survival Pay?"
I recall 30 years back when MOST of us spent time trying to THINK during the day........ Think about........
"I can produce 10% more if we do it THIS way."
Now, it's 99.9% workers just........ Do the "Numbers" I'm expected of."
Yeah, maybe the "Numbers" looked better when we had two Janitors instead of one, and line-workers weren't expected to halt production to clean the urinals too, and we are EXPECTED to bow and bless the "Ties" for even having a job but.........
When I see most of the "Ties" with feet up desks,in A/C offices, watching cute Panda vids or porn, and occassioinlly working up a "Pie-Chart" in between dicsussioins of their golf game, I have to wonder why I'm talked down to like a "Serf" if I took a MOMENT to catch my breath in my 110 degree work area, and they "The Brains" rarely come out to help us?
They got the "Papers" So does my neighbor's Sheltie. Whoop-dee-doo?

January 02 2013 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the nation has been asleep. The President has been saying all along that "he believes in Collective Salvation". Collective Salvation means that a person, company or nation will take from the rich and give to the poor in order to gain a reward at the end of their lives. In other words folks, this is part of his religion. You here people say...a person should not judge or chose a President based on his religious beliefs. Ok.. This is what his religious beliefs are so don't be suprised to what we get. While you thinking, look up WWW.FrankMarshallDavisicom to see where this nation is really headed. Also, while you're thinking, ask youreslf, (for all your Bible scholars), just before Jesus came on the scene, who came as a forerunner? Right, John the Baptist. If you check, there has been a forerunner preparing the way for who was to come. Many people believe that where will be a forerunner before the Antichrist comes. This person will do and say things in preparing the way. He may say or do things in their leading that will cause many to feel helpless. Wanting or demanding total control. By passing the system in order to get and do what he wants without approval. The antichrist will take total control. Pretending to be for the people. Misleading many. Now who do you fits this character today? Right On! Folks, get ready. Think about this, what good will a bank or house full of money if it's worthless? What will be more important to you and your family, worthlesss money or a room or shed full of freeze dried food? Be wise.. If nothing happens, this stuff has a 25 year life span. You can always use it or give it to the needy. But if things pan out to the way it's headed. You and family win?

January 02 2013 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike edwards

no one likes gov in a democracy but with this country turning into socialism gov will take control so be ready to share any good fortune you may have going forward wont mean a dam thing so get that entitlement card before they are all gone

January 02 2013 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

America is on track to become a third world country by the year 2025 according to articles in both Forbes magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Most jobs are paying less, while the cost of living keeps steadily increasing. More people than ever are behind on their mortgage payments, falling behind on their car payments, there has been a increases in bankruptcies, increase premiums on their medical payments, and folks the list goes on. America is in a World of hurt.
A lot of jobs now don't pay a liveable wage for a family to live on, we are talking about people who had good jobs/careers until they were outsourced to other countries. Until jobs start paying more we will continue to see ( despite what the talking heads on these Sunday Morning talk shows say) more and more good people turn to the government for assis. just to survive. I wonder if this is what the government wanted to happen all along.!!!

January 02 2013 at 1:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Many of these problems are the Employers themselves, Back in the day you could walk into any place fill out an application and leave a resume and even get an interview and most likely be employed by the end of the week. Today its just not so. Employers have become way to lazy in the hiring process and their managers no longer have the authority to hire anyone. People are now subjected to having to fill out on line applications which consume 45 min. where applicants are subjected to taking these Surveys and aptitude tests which are pure BS. These on line apps most of the time don't even allow you to apply a resume.

The other problems are the fact that NO LIVE person is even seeing your application, both application and tests are fed through a computer that sifts through all of them and randomly picks and chooses the best candidates based on the BS aptitude tests which does not really serve any purpose and is a waste of time.
So your future is basically now in the hands of a computer, doing the hiring, getting that interview based on what the computer spits out is nothing more then a formality. I recently got rejected for a job as a Prep Cook and I have been in that business for over 27 years with 15 as a prep cook, but after making some calls I found out that they hired some one with only 3 years experience simply because the computer liked his answers better in the BS aptitude test. I bet this person does not work out. IF any employers are reading this, STOP BEING LAZY!!!! and actually look at an application and resume and really do an interview STOP depending on your computers.

January 02 2013 at 12:42 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Employers opt for temp and contract hiring for several reasons -- #1 it allows them to TEST DRIVE the worker to see if they want to keep them, #2 it relieves them of risk and liability in hiring someone who doesnt work out then tries to sue when terminated, #3 it allows employers to adjust on daily/weekly basis as needed, #4 it helps employer stay BELOW the Obamacare employee head count. Bottom line is NO business owner I knows is planning to hire in 2013 due to this administration policies. This is the longest recession in history and I see no end in sight.

January 02 2013 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dkelmstra's comment

I agree with all you said except #2, things can still happen on the job, and this route does not make or relieve the employer immune from being sued!

January 02 2013 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Own my own business and deal with a lot of others who do as well, dont know where this article is coming from sounds like B___ S____! Temporary And Contract Hiring On The Rise this tells the story. Going this way relieves you of a lot of burdens with insurance, workers comp and other issues. Like busing years ago it didnt work so why do they still do it? This country is on a downward spiral, its need to hurry an crash.

January 02 2013 at 12:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Perception is key! If everyone thinks bad? IT WILL BE BAD! If you want things to improve, everyone needs to work harder and smarter. Unlike our government, you can't spend money you don't have! Think of your image. Most companies are hiring temporary and illegals. How does this make you think of these companies? Me? If I even THINK they are downing the American worker? I do my best not to support them.

January 02 2013 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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