One-third of Employers Expect to Grow Workforce in 2015

A new survey suggests many sectors, including healthcare, are poised for workforce growth in the coming year.

More than one-third of US employers say they’ll be adding full-time permanent employees to their staffs in 2015, and the healthcare sector is once again among the leaders in hiring plans.

CareerBuilder.com this week released its annual job forecast, which is based on a poll of more than 2,000 hiring and human resources managers. The survey found 36% of employers plan to increase headcount in 2015, up from 24% last year. Nine percent of respondents said they plan to decrease their employee rolls in the new year, and 48% said they plan to hold steady at current employment levels.

“The amount of companies planning to hire in 2015 is up 12 percentage points over last year, setting the stage for a more competitive environment for recruiters that may lend itself to some movement in wages,” said Matt Ferguson, CareerBuilder’s CEO, in a company press release.

Thirty-eight percent of healthcare firms said they plan to grow their workforces in 2015, good enough for fourth place among the sectors surveyed. CareerBuilder’s survey only included healthcare organizations with more than 50 employees, thus it may not reflect trends for smaller medical practices.

The sector with the most robust hiring plans was information technology, with 54% of employers saying they’ll add staff. That was followed by financial services (42%) and manufacturing (41%).

About one-third of managers polled (31%) said they planned to create Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) positions in the coming year. Sales jobs are expected to be the highest overall growth area, however.

Many survey respondents also said they plan to hire more part-time workers, with 23% responding positively, and just 7% saying they plan to decrease the number of part-time workers on their staffs.

Employers also said they’re likely to modestly increase salaries in 2015. Nearly half (46%) of companies said their pay increases for existing employees will increase in the 1-3% range. One-third (32%) said their salary offers for potential new employees will increase in the same range, though 35% said they don’t plan any increase in initial salary offers.