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Survey Predicts a Summer Job Boost is Coming

A pickup in hiring heading into the summer months could bode well for job creation in the second half of 2012, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com.

The online career site’s annual Summer Job Forecast shows that 29 percent of employers plan to hire workers for the summer, an increase over last year’s 21 percent.

“This is good news for job seekers, as seasonal work can often lead to full-time opportunities,” said Brett Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, in a statement. “A majority of employers told us they consider a summer position an extended job interview.” In addition, the survey revealed that 71 percent of employers said they’ll be considering some summer hires for permanent positions.

Among the sectors that showed the strongest hiring trends were manufacturing (45 percent said they would be hiring for jobs in this sector); hospitality, 44 percent; retail, 34 percent; and finance, 31 percent.

Rasmussen said that while there were no significant regional differences among hiring, “The west and northeast were slightly ahead in terms of hiring plans, due in part to increased activity in leisure and hospitality,” he said.

Pay has increased as well. A majority of respondents — 64 percent — said they will pay summer employees $10 or more per hour; that’s up from 58 percent last year. And 20 percent will pay more than $16 per hour.

All of these are signs that the second half of the year could be stronger for job creation, says Rasmussen. “CareerBuilder's job listings are up across industries and company sizes. This bodes well for a better hiring picture in the back half of the year,” he said. “While employers remain watchful of the U.S. economy, the debt situation in Europe and other factors, they're focused on growing their businesses and need new talent in the door.”

The survey, conducted Feb. 9 through March 2, queried 2,303 hiring managers and human resource professionals about summer hiring plans.

Email us at SmallBiz@cnbc.com and follow us on Twitter @SmallBizCNBC.

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