Employment and wage growth at U.S. companies in the second quarter of 2014 are expected to continue through October, according to the quarterly Business Conditions Survey from the National Association for Business Economics. The report, which is available in full only to NABE members, showed that job gains were expected to continue as sales increase.

Employment and wages grow
Respondents to the survey, who represent 85 NABE member companies with more than 1,000 employees, reported that hiring was up from last year and from 2014's first quarter. One year ago, 29 percent said that they were adding to their workforce, while 28 percent said the same in the first quarter of 2014. The survey conducted this June showed that 36 percent of companies had hired employees in the year's second quarter.

As these organizations added jobs, they also saw increasing wages. None of the survey's respondents reported pay cuts. At 43 percent of the companies surveyed, pay rose over the quarter. Somewhat fewer, 35 percent, expected wages to continue to increase over the year's third quarter.

Third quarter optimism
Predictions for hiring through the year were more in line with current growth. Between July and October, 37 percent of businesses said that they were likely to add employees, slightly more than the number that hired in the second quarter. Most companies expected stable employment, with 55 percent saying that they would maintain current staffing levels. At 9 percent of firms, job cuts were expected.

The hiring outlook was most optimistic in finance, insurance and real estate, according to analysis by The Associated Press. Firms in those sectors predicted 48 percent employment growth.

More NABE members reported rising sales in the first quarter of 2014, which the AP linked to employment growth. At 57 percent of companies, sales reportedly rose in the second quarter, while only 5 percent saw them fall. Confidence was high for the rest of the year, with 58 percent predicted continued growth.

Long-term growth
Job forecasts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the nation's workforce was expected to grow moderately in the next decade. Between 2012 and 2022, employment was predicted to rise 10.8 percent, providing 15.6 million new positions. Finance companies, which showed confidence in NABE's survey, were not among the industries expecting the most growth in the BLS analysis. Nearly half of the 30 jobs expected to grow the most were related to health care.

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