Local employers are feeling optimistic and expect to add staffers during what is normally a slow hiring season, a survey of Sacramento quarterly hiring trends released last week showed.
Nearly six in 10 employers polled 57 percent said they expected to hire in the first three months of the year to replace workers who retire or quit to take another job, while 36 percent said they expected to increase their current staffing levels in the same period.
"It's a more active quarter than we would normally see this time of year," said Rick Reed, the local market analyst who conducts the quarterly employment trends survey for Sacramento placement firm Pacific Staffing.
"These are significant improvements in the market from regional employment and economic conditions just three years ago," Pacific Staffing said in its report.
That optimism also extends to the economy, the survey showed.
In all, 53 percent of area employers said they were positive about the new year, while 23 percent were downbeat. Another 11 percent were undecided, and 13 percent did not respond.
Information technology professionals are among those poised to benefit, Reed said. Nearly 10 percent of employers polled, from construction to the service sector and other industries, are looking to those with IT skills.
"There's a lot of opportunity for those with network skills to pick and choose" where IT pros land next, he said.
Employers, Reed said, "want to get back in the zone and start hiring people, but that depends on what's happening in Washington."
Anxiety about the impending "fiscal cliff" the combination of deep budget cuts and tax increases set to kick in at the start of the year is casting a shadow on local employers' upbeat mood, Reed said.
They worry that the impasse in Washington may slam the brakes on businesses' optimism heading into the new year.
"If (lawmakers) don't reach a fiscal cliff deal, a lot of this optimism is going to evaporate," Reed said. "We had been in recession for three years, businesses are starting to see the sunshine at the end of the tunnel, and people are tired of politicians standing in front of the light."
FBI: 125 computer jobs
The FBI is seeking computer-skilled applicants for 125 new openings nationwide.
The "cyberbackground only" openings are for those who hold college degrees or have at least one year of experience in specific fields, such as: computer engineering, electrical engineering, information technology, cybersecurity, computer forensics and math.
The online application period runs through Jan. 15.
Some of the jobs will be in FBI offices in California, Steve Dupre, recruiting coordinator for the FBI's Sacramento office, said in an email.
He called it "a terrific opportunity" for candidates with specialized computer skills.
"No other company or organization will use those skills quite like the FBI will," Dupre said. Those who are hired "will be trained to investigate and prevent the most sophisticated computer threats around the globe," including those that target national security, aid terrorism or threaten our nation's infrastructure, he added.
To apply for current openings, go to: www.fbi.gov/jobs.
Next year, to fill its regular special-agent vacancies, the FBI will accept applications during a two-week period, March 1 through 15.
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