December 31, 2013
Employers are feeling better about the economy, but hiring in 2014 nationally might remain cautious until budget and other issues out of Washington become clearer, according to CareerBuilder’s annual jobs forecast, released this morning.
The forecast shows that 24 percent of companies plan to hire full-time employees in 2014, down 2 percentage points from 2013.
A potentially big stumbling block comes early in the year when Congress debates whether to raise the nation’s debt limit. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned congressional leaders that they must raise it by early March.
Debates on the subject in recent years have gone right up to the deadline, a point of concern for many economists who say that failing to raise the ceiling can damage the economy.
CareerBuilder’s survey finds 23 percent of employers will either slow their hiring rate or not hire at all until there is a resolution.
“Most employers we work with believe the job market will be better in 2014,” said Jennifer Sullivan Grasz, a CareerBuilder spokeswoman. “They’re feeling more secure in their financial situation. They’re seeing greater demand for their products and services.
“So there is a sense of optimism, but it is paired with caution — which has been the theme throughout this entire jobs recovery. Employers are hesitant to increase head count to its full potential until some of the headlines in the news play themselves out domestically and in global markets.”
In the Midwest, 24 percent of employers plan to add full-time employees in 2014, the same as in 2013, according to the report. Meanwhile, 15 percent say they will reduce staffing, compared with 10 percent who planned to do so in 2013.
The results of the annual survey are similar to other reports that show employment growth is expected to continue in 2014, but that employers continue to be cautious.
Manpower’s first-quarter outlook for 2014, for example, shows hiring is expected to be about the same as in the fourth quarter this year and up slightly from the first quarter of 2013.
Manpower’s survey shows employers more optimistic even as the economic recovery remains uneven.
CareerBuilder’s study also shows that Columbus is expected to outshine Cleveland and Cincinnati in job growth through 2017.
The study expects growth of 3.8 percent through the period, an increase of about 38,000 jobs, for Columbus. That would put the metropolitan area 28th among the 52 biggest metros in the country.
Cincinnati came in at No. 41, with expected job growth of 2.6 percent, and Cleveland was next to last, with job growth of 0.3 percent expected.
The survey found that the strongest job gains will be in the so-called STEM occupations of science, technology, engineering and math. Job gains also are expected to be strong in sales and information technology.