January 11, 2009
Finally, some hiring and flex work statistics to cheer about
After Friday's bleak Bureau of Labor statistics report (unemployment: new, improved, and now at a 16-year high of 7.2 percent!), it was refreshing to find a couple of hopeful nuggets in CareerBuilder.com's annual jobs forecast for 2009.
Sure, there was the depressing news that out of the 3,200+ U.S. private sector employers surveyed, only 14 percent planned to increase their full-time staff and 8 percent planned to increase their part-time staff -- a 50+ percent decrease from corresponding figures in the 2008 report.
But here's some good news from CareerBuilder's 2009 jobs forecast:
1. Staff expansion will be greatest in the western and southern United States. On the left coast, 14 percent of companies plan to add full-time, permanent employees.
2. Nearly one-third of employers say they'll offer flexible work arrangements this year. Specifically, 70 percent of companies surveyed say they'll offer flex time, 48 percent will permit telecommuting, and 40 percent will offer compressed workweeks. No word on whether these perks are being offered in spite of the recession or because of it.
3. Twenty-eight percent of employers expect to hire freelancers or contractors this year. For those eager to operate as a free agent and gain more control over their schedule, this is great news. And as I mentioned in my 2009 work/life balance predictions, this is also good news for those looking for a little extra money until the job market improves.
I've heard local career coach Curt Rosengren say on more than one occasion that we need to spend more time looking at the positive headlines during these bleak economic times. So with this post I'm taking a page from him.
How about you? Have any bright spots on the dream job or work/life balance front to share this week? Do tell.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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