New Poll Reveals Brightening Employment Picture

March 31, 2011 ( – Twenty-eight percent of employers have hired full-time permanent workers in Q111, the highest such reading in three years.

A news release about the CareerBuilder and USA TODAY study said the same amount of employers are planning to add full-time, permanent positions in the second quarter. 

In the last survey completed in December 2010, 23% of employers expected to hire full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter of 2011. The number of employers who actually added headcount in the first quarter was 28%, signifying seven consecutive quarters where actual hiring exceeded projections. This is also a jump from last year, when 23% of employers reported they had added full-time, permanent headcount in the first quarter of 2010.

According to the news release, 28% of employers plan to increase their full-time, permanent headcount in the second quarter, but if current survey trends persist, that number may ultimately come in higher at quarter end. Looking at actual hiring for the second quarter in 2010, 24% of employers reported they had hired full-time, permanent staff while 11% decreased headcount.

A third of employers are concerned that top performers will look for employment opportunities outside of their organization as the economy improves. Fourteen percent reported that top talent already left their organization in the first quarter of this year.

Employers continue to leverage temporary staff to help meet increased business demands. Twenty-nine percent of employers reported they hired contract or temporary workers in the first quarter. Twenty-six percent plan to do so in the second quarter. Seventeen percent said they are planning to transition some contract or temporary staff into permanent employees in the second quarter.

Hiring is expected to pick up more in the West in the second quarter. One-third (33%) of hiring managers in the West expect to increase full-time, permanent headcount compared to 28% in the Northeast, 27% in the Midwest, and 24% in the South.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive among 2,878 U.S. hiring managers and 5,671 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between February 21 and March 10, 2011.