Pay Raises Are Coming Soon

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Nearly one-third of American employers expect to take on new full-time employees over the next three months and, as the job market tightens, most plan to start handing out pay raises.

That's the bottom line of a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 employers across the U.S. The poll measures the hiring expectations of American bosses for the three-month period that just began.

Particularly noteworthy is the increasing number of small business owners who intend to hire additional full-time employees. That figure had lagged, as they remained cautious about their prospects for business growth.The pick-up in small business hiring has been showing up gradually over the past few months, according to Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. "Small businesses have been playing a larger part in the solid stretch of job growth the U.S. has experienced over several months," he said. "When you pair that with the fact that hiring has increased in a variety of industries and regional areas, it bodes well for workers seeking new and better-paying employment prospects."

Now, 24 percent of small businesses say they plan to expand full-time headcount by the end of June, compared to 18 percent in the same period a year ago.

Overall, 32 percent of the people who make hiring decisions at businesses of all sizes said they intend to hire additional full-time permanent employees in the next few months. The biggest businesses were most likely to be in expansion mode. Fully 38 percent of businesses with more than 500 employees expect to hire in the current quarter, compared to 32 percent in the same period a year ago.

Inevitably, there are signs that employers are feeling the pressure to raise salaries to attract the best candidates. Forty-three percent of employers said that they have job vacancies that have been open for 12 weeks or longer.

A majority of those surveyed said they plan to reward employees with raises during the present quarter. About 24 percent said they'll increase salaries by at least five percent. Another 44 percent anticipate increasing salaries by four percent or less. In the hottest field, information technology, about 37 percent of employers expect to raise salaries.

In fact, information technology is one of four industries whose employers are most likely to be in new-hiring mode. More than 40 percent of bosses in the transportation and financial services industries said they would be hiring, as did 32 percent of mid-sized health care companies.

Temporary or contract employment also is showing an upswing. Thirty-seven percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in the second quarter, up from 33 percent a year ago. And, 31 percent plan to offer a permanent job to some contract or temporary staffers in the second quarter, up from 26 percent last year.

The upbeat hiring projections follow equally positive numbers for the quarter that just ended. In the same survey, 35 percent of employers said they had hired full-time, permanent employees during the quarter that just ended, up from 29 percent the year before.

"The brisk hiring anticipated for the second quarter comes against the backdrop of stronger sales, new product development and market expansion among companies of all sizes," said Ferguson.

The nationwide survey was conducted for CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between Feb. 11 and March 6, 2015. It included a representative sample of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries. CareerBuilder is the operator of CareerBuilder.com, the nation's largest jobs database.
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