New Year's resolution: Hire more people

The hiring outlook for 2007 is "moderated, yet stable," and few companies are expecting cutbacks, according to a poll commissioned by CareerBuilder.com.

Most U.S. companies will either boost or maintain their employee counts in the coming year, according to results released Tuesday of a survey led by online job site CareerBuilder.com.

About 40 percent of some 2,600 hiring managers surveyed said they plan to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees in 2007. Another 40 percent expect no change in their head counts, and 8 percent are expecting job eliminations, according to the survey, conducted from November 17 to December 11.

Of the jobs for which employers will be recruiting, about 13 percent will be in information technology, the survey said.

"Of the tech recruiters surveyed, 48 percent said they would be adding positions in 2007, 10 percent said they would be decreasing posts, and the remaining said they were unsure or expected no change," said CareerBuilder spokeswoman Jennifer Sullivan.

More recruiting is expected in the areas of health care (24 percent), administration and clerical work (19 percent), sales (17 percent), and accounting and finance (17 percent). That sector breakdown is on par with previous surveys, according to CareerBuilder. The full report, conducted by Harris Interactive, was not immediately available.

The survey results also mesh with recent U.S. Department of Labor reports that the market is slowing at a gradual, reasonable pace and that inflation has steadied, CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said in a statement.

"This bodes well for job creation as economists and employers alike predict a moderated, yet stable, hiring environment to carry over into the New Year," he said.

But while a modest recovery might be starting, when it comes to the technology sector, have claims of a rebound been exaggerated?

"The tech sector, most notably, is suffering from the longest jobless recovery since World War II, having lost more than 400,000 jobs since the start of the March 2001 recession," Marcus Courtney, president of the WashTech/CWA union of high-tech workers, wrote in a July CNET News.com column, adding that the recession officially ended in November of that year. But, Courtney wrote, "according to a recent study prepared by the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Urban Economic Development, only 76,300 new IT jobs were created nationwide during the last three years. That's less than one quarter of the number of tech jobs lost earlier in the decade." ("Information Technology Labor Markets: Rebounding, but Slowly.")

Other 2007 trends predicted by the CareerBuilder survey include: bigger paychecks (81 percent of employers report their companies will increase salaries for existing employees); more flexible work arrangements (half of employers say they are either extremely or fairly willing to provide job sharing or other alternate schedules); and more overseas hiring, particularly in China and India.

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