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Unemployment and Hiring Trends Going into 2012

January 14th, 2012

While the career market did experience some promising growth at the end of 2011, the New Year is looking to be promising for many companies in the administrative, technology, energy, health care and engineering industries. According to the US Department of Labor, the national average of unemployment at the end of December 2011 was at 8.5 percent, but there were several states that saw a nice decline in the number of claims filed. However, these industries are growing at a steady pace, which means plenty of career opportunities for job seekers.

Unemployment and hiring trends should change the way you hire people. Employers can learn a great deal from the trends occurring in today’s very challenging and every changing employment field. There are ideal candidates out there. There are also highly competitive employers looking to get the best they can.

What’s Going on Today?

According to the LinkedIn Recruiting Trends 2011 report, there are some interesting changes occurring in the employment field. For example, about 60 percent of companies in the United States say they plan to hire more professionals than they did the previous year. However, of those, 55 percent say they do not expect to increase their hiring budget to do it.

Social Media is the Route to Take

How do companies plan to hire more without paying more to find those employees? Many are turning to social media to do the work for them. The top recruiting trend in the country, in fact, is using social and professional networks to locate the ideal candidate for open positions. The same report indicates that about 35 percent of business worry that competitors will learn to use social media more effectively than they are using it and therefore land more of the best candidates in the field. Ninety-six percent of those who responded noted that LinkedIn was their choice for social networking for recruiting needs. Is your business using it?

Who Is Hiring?

Express Employment Professionals, one of the largest staffing companies in the country, released a report indicating where hiring trends are in North America at the end of 2011 and start of 2012. Here is a look at where jobs are.

  • The commercial and light industrial sector accounts for about 32 percent of all job openings.
  • About 28 percent of businesses plan to hire administrative or office staff.
  • About 32 percent are hiring for other positions such as customer service, food service, healthcare, sales or general labor.
  • 14 percent of those that responded to the company’s survey indicated they plan to hire for engineering positions.
  • 13 percent plan to hire marketing professionals.
  • Another 10 percent say they plan to hire into their finance and accounting sectors.
  • Information technology jobs account for about nine percent.

This should help businesses to gauge just how much competition there is in the market. The survey conducted by the company was given to more than 17,000 businesses that plan to hire.

There is more demand today for skilled workers than previously. Most employers are talking about hiring again. Some sectors will not likely begin hiring until the economy is performing far better, including those who are unskilled laborers or those who are highly skilled engineers or architects. The housing market is simply not growing. According some experts, salaries will increase but not by high levels and the money in salary increases is unlikely to be spread around evenly to all workers.

Keeping these factors in mind, where is your business headed? Are you conducting the same types of hiring or is your sector skill holding back to see if the economy improves? Employers must compete in a very different world today than they did pre-recession, but for many employees that is a good thing.