Hiring forecast for last half of 2016 expected to be on par with 2015, but with better wages

Survey reveals hot areas for staffing by industry, function, company size

Posted July 12, 2016

The U.S. hiring outlook for the next six months is expected to mirror the same period in 2015 — but paychecks will likely become a little bigger — according to CareerBuilder’s Midyear Job Forecast. More than half of employers will raise wages for current employees while 2 in 5 will offer higher starting salaries on job offers in the second half of the year.

The nearly 1 in 4 workers (23 percent) who plan to change jobs before the end of the year will see new job openings for full-time, part-time, and temporary work. In the second half of 2016:

  • 50 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent workers, on par with 49 percent last year
  • 29 percent of employers plan to hire part-time employees, on par with 28 percent last year
  • 32 percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers, down slightly from 34 percent last year

How much are employers willing to boost wages?

Looking at a subset of human resources managers, 70 percent feel their companies will have to start paying workers higher wages because the market has become increasingly competitive for the talent needed.

Among all employers (hiring managers and human resources managers), 39 percent reported they plan to offer higher starting salaries for new employees over the next six months; 20 percent of all employers plan to increase starting salaries on job offers by 5 percent or more. More than half (53 percent) of employers plan to increase compensation levels for current employees before year end and, similar to salaries on new job offers, 21 percent said the compensation increase for existing staff will likely be 5 percent or more.

What are the hot industries and functions for hiring?

Information technology (68 percent), health care (65 percent), financial services (56 percent), and manufacturing (51 percent) are among industries expected to outperform the national average for full-time, permanent hiring in the back half of 2016.

Looking across all industries, 1 in 6 employers (16 percent) said they plan to hire more recruiters in the next six months to help bring new talent in the door. Some of the in-demand roles employers said they will be recruiting for in the second half of the year are those tied to:

  • Cloud technology — 12 percent
  • Mobile technology — 11 percent
  • Social marketing — 11 percent
  • Providing a good user experience — 11 percent
  • Developing apps — 9 percent
  • Wellness — 9 percent
  • E-commerce — 9 percent
  • Financial regulation — 9 percent
  • Creating a digital strategy — 9 percent
  • Managing and interpreting Big Data — 8 percent
  • Cyber security — 8 percent

Among broader functional areas, employers will be hiring for:

  • Customer service — 29 percent
  • Sales — 27 percent
  • Information technology — 25 percent
  • Production — 20 percent
  • Accounting/finance — 13 percent
  • Human resources — 13 percent
  • Clinical — 12 percent
  • Business development — 11 percent
  • Marketing — 11 percent
  • Research and development — 11 percent

Are small businesses growing bolder in their hiring plans?

While full-time, permanent hiring among most small, medium, and large organizations is expected to be on par with the back half of 2015, a 5 percentage-point acceleration is anticipated for small businesses with 251 to 500 employees:

  • 50 or fewer employees — 27 percent hiring, the same as last year
  • 51 to 250 employees — 53 percent hiring, up from 51 percent last year
  • 251 to 500 employees — 64 percent hiring, up from 59 percent last year

Among larger companies with more than 500 employees, 3 in 5 hiring managers (62 percent) plan to add full-time, permanent headcount at their location, the same as last year.

What is the outlook for Q3?

A third of employers (34 percent) plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in the third quarter, the same as Q3 2015. Eight percent of employers expect to downsize staffs, relatively unchanged from 7 percent in Q3 2015. Fifty-four percent anticipate no change and 4 percent are undecided.

In Q2, the number of employers who actually hired was 40 percent, on par with 39 percent last year. Nine percent decreased headcount, the same as last year.

Survey Methodology
The nationwide survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,153 hiring managers and human resources managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) and 3,244 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between May 11 and June 7, 2016 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,153 and 3,244, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/- 2.11 and +/- 1.72 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.


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