Almost 24 percent of employers said in a new CareerBuilder survey that they plan on hiring workers in 2011, up 4 percent from this year.
CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,400 hiring managers and human-resource professionals at the end of November and asked about hiring plans and wage growth.
Last year when asked if they would be hiring in 2010, 20 percent of employers said yes. For 2009, only 14 percent said hiring was on their agenda.
Seven percent of employers said they plan to decrease workers in 2011, down from 9% this year and 16% last year, according to the survey. Meanwhile, 58% expect no change in the level of staff, and 11% are unsure.
For the most part, the survey found that wage growth will be modest. While 61% of employers said they will increase compensation for existing staff in 2011, up from 57% this year, most estimate that the average raise will be 3% at most.
Among firms that expect to increase full-time, permanent workers in 2011, here are the top areas, by function: sales, information technology, customer service, engineering, technology, administrative, business development, marketing, research/development, and accounting/finance.
Hiring for part-time and temporary workers is also gaining. In the next 12 months, 13% of firms said they expect to hire part-time employees, up from 11% this year and 9% last year.
“There is a higher level of optimism going into 2011 among employers and staffing firms,” said Jennifer Grasz, spokeswoman for CareerBuilder.com. “There is more confidence.”