crystal ball 2017

Hiring in 2017: a Roundup of Projections for the New Year


A roundup of hiring expectations going into 2017, including info on salary increases and top occupations.

Staffing companies are in the unique position of working with a large number of employers in a wide range of industries. It’s relatively easy for a staffing agency to survey its client companies about hiring expectations.

Below is a quick roundup of hiring projections from several well-known staffing companies. Please note: this information should not be taken as written in stone, since business conditions and business plans can change quickly.

Overall Hiring in 2017

According to Manpower’s employment outlook survey, 19% of U.S. employers expect staffing levels to increase during the first quarter of 2017.

Regionally, the Manpower survey projects that 2017 payrolls in the Midwest will grow by 17%. Industries in the region that are expected to show the biggest gains are:

  • Leisure & Hospitality (+25% growth)
  • Professional & Business Services (+19%)
  • Wholesale & Retail Trade (+18%)
  • Manufacturing (+14%)

Hiring for College Grads

A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers has shown that the hiring outlook for college graduates is down from the previous year. The survey shows 5.8% of employers plan to hire new grads. Among the reasons cited for this decline is that employers hired “large numbers of graduates in the past few years, and simply don’t need to hire as many.”

Information Technology

Hiring in IT

Technology staffing company TEKsystems surveyed IT and tech leaders about their hiring plans for 2017. The survey found that roughly 44% expect to increase IT staffing levels for both full time and contingent workers.

A survey conducted by Dice Holdings found that 68% of IT hiring professionals expect staff increases in 2017, with 26% predicting “substantially more hiring.”

A similar survey conducted by Robert Half Technology found that 16% of CIO’s plan to add more staff, and 69% plan to continue hiring for currently open positions.

Yet another survey, conducted by staffing firm Brilliant, found that 23% of companies plan to hire IT professionals in the first quarter of 2017.

IT Skills

The TEKsystems survey found these to be the top areas for which spending will increase in 2017:

  • Security
  • Cloud
  • Business intelligence / big data
  • Mobility
  • Legacy modernization
  • Digital marketing / customer experience
  • Virtualization / software-defined networks
  • Digital transformation
  • Data center consolidation
  • Enterprise resource planning

IT Salaries

The TEKsystems survey found that 36% of tech leaders expect to increase salaries in 2017.

The survey from Dice Holdings found that 59% anticipate salary increases in 2017, with 10% predicting salaries to be “significantly higher” than last year.

A survey conducted by Robert Half Technology found that IT salaries are expected to rise 3.8% in 2017. The survey also found that the following occupations are expected to show the most salary growth:

  • Data Scientist (+6.4% salary growth)
  • Big Data Engineer (+5.8)
  • Network Security Engineer (+5.7%)
  • Web Designer (+5.2%)
  • Software Engineer (+5.2%)
  • Network Security Administrator (+5.1%)
  • Database Developer (+5.1%)
  • Software Developer (+5.0%)
  • Data Security Analyst (+5.0%)
  • Network Engineer (+4.5%)

Other Industries and Occupations

Accounting / Financial

A survey conducted by staffing firm Brilliant found that 21% of companies plan to hire accounting professionals in the first quarter of 2017.

Another survey by Robert Half Finance & Accounting predicts that these will be the top accounting and finance jobs in 2017:

  • Financial Analyst (+4.3% salary growth)
  • Business Systems Analyst Manager (+4.3%)
  • Internal Auditor (+4.2%)
  • Controller (+4.2%)
  • Audit/Assurance Services Manager (+4.2%)
  • Staff Accountant (+4.1%)
  • Senior Accountant (+4.1%)
  • Operational Risk Analyst Manager (+4.1%)
  • Medical Collections Specialist (+4.0%)
  • Compliance Officer (+4.0%)

it is also anticipated that starting salaries in accounting and finance will rise by an average of 3.7%.


Robert Half projects that administrative salaries will see average increases of 3.5%, with the following occupations seeing even larger increases:

  • Administrative assistants (+4.0% salary growth)
  • Medical customer service representatives (+4.0)
  • Certified professional coders (+4.0)

Staffing company Ajilon anticipates that these will be the top administrative occupations in 2017:

  • Receptionist
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Customer Service Rep
  • Executive Assistant
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Medical Biller
  • Purchasing/Procurement Clerk
  • Demand Planner
  • Medical Office manager

Legal / Paralegal

Robert Half Legal expects that the top 10 legal and paralegal jobs in 2017 will be:

  • Litigation Support/eDiscovery Director (+8.9% salary growth)
  • Lawyer (+6.9%)
  • Compliance Manager (+6.9%)
  • First-Year Associate (+6.2%)
  • Contract Manager (+5.4%)
  • Midlevel Paralegal/Legal Assistant (+5.2%)
  • Lease Manager (+5.1%)
  • In-House Counsel (+5.0%)
  • Senior/Supervising Paralegal/Legal Assistant (+4.0%)
  • Legal Secretary (+3.8%)

They also anticipate that these professions will see salaries rise by an average of 3.6%.

Marketing / Creative

Robert Half projects that salaries for marketing/creative will see average increases of 3.6%, with the following occupations seeing even larger increases:

  • Front-end web developers (+7.2% salary growth)
  • Mobile designers (+6.8%)
  • User experience designers (+6.1%)

The Creative Group anticipates that these will be the top creative and marketing jobs in 2017:

  • Front-End Web Developer
  • Mobile Designer
  • User Experience (UX) Designer
  • Content Strategist
  • Visual Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Digital Strategist
  • Interactive/Web Copywriter
  • Marcom Manager
  • Web Designer

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