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The Hiring and Salary Freeze Begins to Thaw

Nearly half of American companies (47 percent) say they will hire executives and senior managers in the last quarter of 2009, according to a survey of 201 employers by Watson Wyatt, a business-consulting firm.

Fifty-four percent of employers who locked salaries in 2009 intended to initiate raises in the next six months, and 70 percent plan to return 401K retirement plans to pre-recession levels. But one in five companies expects to cut jobs in the remaining months of 2009 and into 2010 and two-thirds of companies have concerns about retaining top talent, said the report.

“Despite the slow movement toward recovery, employers are still having to manage a shifting workforce as they balance selective hiring with continuing to make some layoffs,” said Laurie Bienstock, U.S. strategic rewards leader at Watson Wyatt. “In this environment, it is no wonder that employers remain concerned about retaining their top talent. However, recognition programs and other plans that keep these employees engaged and motivated can create a key competitive advantage.”

How many jobs on average will companies polled be hiring? This survey did not inquire, but a recent study of 402 HR professionals by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) showed the average number of jobs being hired in large companies to be roughly 99 positions.

For more on the employment outlook:

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