Survey Shows Moderated, but Stable, Hiring in Fourth Quarter
- Releases its Picks for Top Locations and Job Categories for Hiring -
CHICAGO, the nation's largest online job site with more than 23 million unique visitors and over 1.5 million jobs, released the results of its latest survey, conducted by Harris Interactive(R), tracking projected hiring and job search activities for the upcoming quarter. The survey, titled "Q4 2006 Job Forecast," was conducted from August 31 through September 5, 2006 of 1,650 workers and 1,150 hiring managers.


"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," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of "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."

Employment Changes Over Previous Quarter

The percentage of hiring managers planning to add jobs in the upcoming quarter dropped from 47 percent in June to 37 percent in the latest survey. At the same time, 17 percent of hiring managers reported plans to decrease their headcounts before the end of the year, up from 13 percent in the third quarter. Forty-three percent of hiring managers do not expect to make any adjustments to their staff levels.

Those planning to hire new employees in the fourth quarter of 2006 are recruiting for both permanent and seasonal positions. One-in-five hiring managers (21 percent) say they plan to hire 1 to 10 new employees in the fourth quarter while one-in-ten (11 percent) expect to add 11 to 50 new employees. Eighteen percent expect to add more than 50 new employees.

Most Popular Positions for Recruitment

Thirty-five percent of hiring managers say they plan to recruit primarily for professional and technical positions in the fourth quarter. Thirteen percent are targeting administrative and clerical staff, while 10 percent say they will be focused on filling mid-level (director, manager, supervisor and team leader) or senior management positions by the end of the year.

Regional Breakdown

On par with previous surveys, the Midwest is the region with the fewest employers planning to add staff. Thirty-three percent of hiring managers in the Midwest expect to add headcount in the fourth quarter while 19 percent expect to decrease it. The West is similar with 35 percent of hiring managers expecting to add headcount and 19 percent expecting to decrease it. In the Northeast and South, expectations for staff levels in the fourth quarter are slightly higher. Forty-one percent of hiring managers in the Northeast plan to add new employees while 17 percent anticipate staff cuts. In the South, 38 percent of hiring managers plan to add new employees while only 14 percent plan to downsize, the lowest of expected staff cuts amongst all regions.


While some workers may be skeptical about the job market, it appears others plan to take advantage of the tightening labor pool for better opportunities. Eight percent of workers plan to change jobs in one to less than three months, while another 6 percent plan to do so in the next three to six months.

Tracking its own data of more than 1.5 million jobs posted across the country, identified key job areas and locations for these job seekers to search. Job postings in the following areas have increased by more than 20 percent year over year on

   Top Job Areas for Hiring
   Information Technology
   Customer Service
   Skilled Labor and Trades

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 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 DMAs Based on Jobs Per 100,000 Residents
   Jackson, TN
   Lafayette, IN
   Phoenix, AZ
   Boise, ID
   Reno, NV
   Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL
   Palm Springs,
   Kansas City, MO-KS
   Tucson, AZ
   Baltimore, MD
   Orlando, FL
   Philadelphia, PA
   Columbia, SC
   Lafayette, LA
   Fort Myers-Naples, FL
   Binghamton, NY
   Utica, NY
   Rockford, IL
   Wichita-Hutchinson, KS

For more information on the survey and details on top DMAs for leading job categories and top jobs in largest DMAs, visit: .

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 1,650 workers and 1,150 hiring managers, ages 18 and over, within the United States between August 31 and September 5, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, household income and number of employees were weighted where necessary to the 'Employee' segment in order to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. The 'Employer' segment was weighted by number of employees to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Both segments were weighted using propriety algorithms in order to align the online population to be more representative demographically and behaviorally of the total population of online and offline workers.

With a pure probability sample of 1,150 or 1,650, one could say with a 95 percent probability, that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 4 and 2 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from subsamples is higher and varies. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About is the nation's largest online job site with more than 23 million unique visitors and over 1.5 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. , Tribune Company , and The McClatchy Company , the company offers a vast online and print network to help job seekers connect with employers. powers the career centers for more than 900 partners that reach national, local, industry and niche audiences. These include more than 150 newspapers and leading portals such as America Online and MSN. More than 250,000 employers take advantage of's easy job postings, 18 million-plus resumes, Diversity Channel and more. Millions of job seekers visit the site every month to search for opportunities by industry, location, company and job type, sign up for automatic email job alerts, and get advice on job hunting and career management. For more information about products and services, visit .

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at . To become a member of the Harris Poll Online, visit .

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