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Jan 6, 2014

Influenced by the budget uncertainty in Washington, HR professionals and hiring managers in CareerBuilder’s Annual Job Forecast said they expected to increase headcount in 2014, but the numbers and the rate of hire would depend on Congressional action about the debt ceiling.

The budget bill President Obama signed in late December resolved only part of the national fiscal uncertainty. The debt ceiling, which is due to come in February, is a different matter. Both parties have so far signaled their intention not to compromise on raising the federal borrowing limit.

That has cast a pall of uncertainty over hiring plans, according to respondents to CareerBuilder’s survey. The end-of-the-year survey reports that 23 percent of the participants said they’ll either slow the pace of hiring or simply wait until after Congress resolves the debt question. Overall, 24 percent of companies expect to increase their permanent, full-time head count in 2014, not much different from last year’s 26 percent.

A “reluctance … to commit to adding jobs”

CB-job-forecast-2014-hiring-change-250x174CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said:

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.”

The survey found hiring to be most robust for sales (30 percent) , IT (29 percent), and customer service (25 percent) positions.  More companies in this survey said they expected to hire part-timers; 17 percent saying that this year versus 14 percent last year. Slightly more companies said they expect to hire temp and contract workers — 42 percent versus 40 percent last year.

Besides the part-time hiring, CareerBuilder listed four more hiring trends in 2014:CB-2014-Jobs-forecast-in-demand-jobs-248x300

  1. More companies plan to onshore jobs (26 percent vs. 23 percent reporting they did so in 2013).
  2. Viewing it as evidence of a widening skills gap, CareerBuilder said 51 percent of just the HR managers surveyed reported having open jobs they can’t find qualified workers to fill. Some 46 percent said the positions go three or more months without being filled.
  3. Because of the skills issue, 49 percent of employers will train workers without the experience to fill these jobs. That’s up by 10 points from last year.
  4. A quarter of companies say they will promote their career opportunities to high schoolers.

Salary increases will look a lot like last year. About half the companies will offer raises in the 1-3 percent range. A quarter will offer no raise at all.