By Matt Ferguson
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CNN.com has a business partnership with CareerBuilder.com, which serves as the exclusive provider of job listings and services to CNN.com.
(CareerBuilder.com) -- Following trends in hiring in the last six months, U.S. employers anticipate they will be recruiting at a moderated, yet stable, pace through the remainder of the year.
The latest GDP report from the U.S. Commerce Department shows subdued economic growth in the second quarter, which clocked in at an annual rate of 2.6 percent compared to a brisk clip of 5.6 percent in the first quarter. The National Association for Business Economics is forecasting that the GDP will hold steady at 2.6 percent through the end of the year, warding off some speculation that a slowing in the economy will lead to a recession near-term.
Job growth has decelerated since March, dropping from a monthly average of 176,000 in the first quarter to 128,000 in the third quarter, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Uncertain about the economic impact of higher energy costs, mid-term elections, the war in Iraq and other factors, companies and workers are likely to apply caution in regard to recruitment and job changes going into the fourth quarter.
According to CareerBuilder.com's Q4 Job Forecast, the number of hiring managers planning to add jobs in the upcoming quarter dropped from 47 percent in June to 37 percent in the most recent survey completed in September. At the same time, 17 percent of hiring managers reported plans to cut their headcounts before the end of the year, up from 13 percent in the previous survey. Forty-three percent of hiring managers do not expect to make any adjustments to their staff levels.
Those adding headcount in the fourth quarter are recruiting for a mixture of both permanent and seasonal positions. While 21 percent plan to recruit ten or fewer employees, 18 percent expect to recruit more than 50.
Although workers may be skeptical about the job market, some plan to take advantage of the tightening labor pool for better opportunities. Eight percent plan to change jobs by the end of the year while 14 percent plan to do so in the next six months.
For those workers seeking a change in employment, CareerBuilder.com designed a fast guide to strong areas for hiring. Tracking its own data of more than 1.5 million jobs posted in real-time, the guide serves as a leading indicator of locations and professions that are offering more opportunities to today's workers. The following areas for job postings on CareerBuilder.com have increased by more than 20 percent year over year:
Top Job Areas for Hiring
While large metropolitan areas have more jobs listed by default because of their size, they may not always be the ideal places for job search because of the number of people competing for each position. Measuring the number of jobs posted on CareerBuilder.com in relation to the overall population in the area, the following designated market areas (DMAs) are identified as having the most job openings per resident:
Top 20 DMAs Based on Jobs Per 100,000 Residents
1. Jackson, Tennessee
2. Lafayette, Indiana
3. Phoenix, Arizona
4. Boise, Idaho
5. Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi
6. Reno, Nevada
7. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
8. Palm Springs, California
9. Kansas City, Missouri-Kansas
10. Tucson, Arizona
11. Baltimore, Maryland
12. Orlando, Florida
13. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
14. Columbia, South Carolina
15. Lafayette, Louisiana
16. Fort Myers-Naples, Florida
17. Binghamton, New York
18.Utica, New York
19. Rockford, Illinois
20. Wichita-Hutchinson, Kansas
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