While 44 percent of employers plan to add full-time, permanentemployees in the new year and 51 percent are looking to hiretemporary employees, they might face some challenges keeping jobsfilled; 40 percent of workers also have a change in mind, intendingto change jobs this year.

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CareerBuilder’sannual forecast highlights these statistics and points out that notonly might it take employers time to find employees to fill those positions, itmight be a bit challenging just to keep existing jobs filled.

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Among HR managers, 45 percent currently have job openings forwhich they can’t find qualified applicants, and 58 percent say theyhave jobs that stay open for 12 weeks or longer.

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“More job creation, higher voluntary employee turnover andintensified competition for talent will be the main themessurrounding employment in 2018,” Matt Ferguson, CEO ofCareerBuilder, is quoted saying in the report.

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Ferguson adds, “There is a perfect storm happening in the U.S.labor market. Low unemployment paired with lagging labor forceparticipation and a growing skills gap is making it very difficultfor businesses to find qualified candidates—and this is for alltypes of roles. If employers want to remain competitive, they aregoing to have to look to new talent pools and significantlyincrease their investment in training workers to build up theskills they require.”

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Among the five actions employers are expected to take in the newyear is capturing new talent early—going after college students,since 64 percent intend to hire recent college graduates. Inaddition, 23 percent will be looking outside the country to findthe workers they need, while 39 percent will be looking at the oneswho got away—intending to rehire former employees.

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A forward-thinking 66 percent of employers will be bringing inworkers who don’t have the skills they need, but who havepotential; 44 percent will hire low-skill workers who don’t havethe experience they need, then train them for higher-skilledjobs.

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And last but not least, 30 percent will actually raise startingsalaries by 5 percent or more for in-demand workers, while 36percent plan to do so for existing staff.

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The hottest areas to look for full-time, permanent work are theWest, at 49 percent, followed by the Northeast at 47 percent. TheSouth comes next at 45 percent, while the Midwest lags at just 33percent of employers planning to bring on new employees thisyear.

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All that notwithstanding, 6 percent of employers expect adecline in staff levels in 2018; that is, however, an improvementfrom 8 percent last year; 45 percent don’t expect a change in thenumber of employees, while 5 percent are unsure.

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