According to CareerBuilder and USA TODAY's latest job forecast, nearly three-in-ten employers (28 percent) reported they hired full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter of 2011, the highest since the first quarter of 2008. The momentum is expected to continue with the same amount of employers planning to add full-time, permanent positions in the second quarter. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from February 21 to March 10, 2011, included more than 2,800 hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 5,600 workers across industries and company sizes.

"While employers are keeping a close eye on world events, their confidence levels in regard to recruitment have remained intact," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. "Job listings on CareerBuilder are up across all categories, from healthcare and technology to manufacturing. Our latest survey points to continued, measured gains over the next three months. As the nation moves toward greater financial stability, more employers are investing in talent for the long-term."

In the last survey completed in December 2010, 23 percent of employers expected to hire full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter of 2011. The number of employers who actually added headcount in the first quarter was 28 percent, signifying seven consecutive quarters where actual hiring exceeded projections. This is also a jump from last year, when 23 percent of employers reported they had added full-time, permanent headcount in the first quarter of 2010.

Ten percent decreased headcount in the first quarter 2011, an improvement from 12 percent last year. Sixty-two percent said there was no change in their number of full-time, permanent employees while one percent were undecided.

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