Finally, we’ve moved from a jobless recovery to a recovery where companies are actually hiring.
More than 1.2 million jobs have been created in the past seven months, according to the Labor Department. And layoffs have been tapering off for more than a year now: There were just 37,000 positions lost in April, the third lowest in the past 16 months, according to the latest report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
“At the beginning of this year, we moved into a period of much stronger job creation,” said John Challenger, CEO of the company. “Companies aren’t just hiring in response to growing demand but hiring as a bet on future growth.”
”I can’t think of a corporate or non-profit client I have that doesn’t have job openings,” said Julie Jansen, a career coach and author of “I Don’t Know What I Want but I Know It’s Not This.”“Additionally, my resume and coaching clients are all getting interviews.”
Jansen said the areas she’s seeing the most pickup in are marketing, human resources, training, nonprofit, development and supply-chain management/procurement. Challenger adds that the hottest sectors are energy, health care, technology, business services and international.
And, companies aren’t just hiring temporary workers, a pacifier typical of early-stage recoveries, they’re starting to hire more full-time workers.
“We’re seeing a positive progression,” said Jorge Perez, senior vice president at Manpower North America. Companies are “transitioning from temporary workers to more full-time employment,” he said. “It truly defines how the bigger market for full-time employment is coming back.”
As companies grew more confident in the recovery this year – and their profits – many announced plans to hire new workers. Here are more than 10 big companies that are hiring.
By Cindy Perman
5 May 2011
McDonald’s is so enthusiastic about the recovery, it held a “National Hiring Day” in April, where it set out to hire 50,000 workers, a mix of both management and restaurant-staff jobs. The fast-food chain exceeded its goal and said it plans to continue hiring. As for its reputation for only offering minimum wage jobs, McDonald’s said about half of its franchisees and 75 percent of its managers started out as store workers.
Amazon boosted its staff by 45 percent in the past year, adding more than 17,000 jobs. And, they’re not done yet. “Amazon.com on hiring spree,” cheers the Seattle Times, adding that Amazon plans to add 1,900 jobs at its Seattle headquarters alone. Mashable notes that the online retailer has a big pipeline going, with a recently launched Cloud Player, an ad-supported Kindle, an Android app store and ambitions to get into the mobile-payment market, which is the likely explanation for the hiring spree.
American Express said in a recent earnings call that it has boosted salaries and benefits by 15 percent and that it has added 3,300 jobs. There are more than 500 job openings on the company’s site right now, including a director of strategic analysis in New York and travel consultants in Australia.
Boeing is ramping up production of its 737, 777 and 747 programs and as a result is said to be hiring about 100 workers a week for the past few months. “The employment story is a very strong story” at Boeing, CEO James McNerney said in a recent earnings conference call. The aerospace giant ended 2010 with a hiring spree, even going so far as to hire people just before Thanksgiving, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, something it doesn’t usually do because that means they start paying the new workers and then immediately give them seven paid days off for the holidays.
Caterpillar’s sales jumped 57 percent in the latest quarter as companies are buying more of its heavy equipment anticipating the recovery. Caterpillar has added close to 20,000 workers in the past year, though that’s a mix of full-time and part-time workers. And, more than half of the jobs added were overseas.
Consumer spending may be picking up but shoppers are sending a strong message that they need incentives. As a result, discount sites like Groupon are thriving. The company had 60 employees and announced plans to hire another 100 this year to meet demand, particularly as it ramps up for its IPO later this year.
After faltering during the recession, Citigroup is looking to regain its footing, hiring more than 500 bankers and traders in its institutional clients group. The banking giant has also said that it plans to triple its work force in China to as many as 12,000 in the next few years.
Google hired 4,500 people last year, mostly in engineering and sales, and said it plans to hire 6,200 this year. In a blog post on Google’s web site, senior VP Alan Eustace said 2011 will be the biggest hiring year in the company’s history.
Facebook, which currently has more than 2,000 employees world-wide, is growing by leaps and bounds, increasing its staff by about 50 percent each year. The company hopes to have 3,600 employees by the end of this year, the LA Times reported. The company recently purchased the former headquarters of Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park, Calif., where it plans to have 9,400 workers in within a few years.
Microsoft added more than 680 jobs last quarter, the most since before the recession began, and is still hiring, albeit at a slower pace than its tech rivals. The buzz in techie circles is that some of that hiring is because Microsoft is working on a next-generation Kinect, based on some of the language in job listings for engineers.
UBS returned to profitability early last year and hired more than 400 bankers, traders and other employees last year to help the Swiss bank reclaim some of its status in the European M&A world.
Ford said it will be hiring more than 7,000 workers in the next two years, including hundreds of engineers to focus on hybrid and other new technologies and manufacturing workers. The auto maker showed three new electric and hybrid vehicles at this year’s Detroit auto show, including an electric version of the Ford Focus.