A survey of American employers shows more are inclined to increase hiring from October to December of this year.
Job growth in the U.S. is a key consideration as policy makers at the country's central bank consider next week whether to start trimming stimulative measures they have deployed to boost the economy from the depths of the 2009 recession.
A staffing company, ManpowerGroup, said it questioned 18,000 employers and found that the companies were 13 percent more likely to add workers than to lay off staff. A vice president at the firm, Chris Layden, said it was the most optimistic outlook on hiring in six years.
"Employers indicated elevated confidence in the U.S., with the strongest fourth-quarter hiring intentions since the fourth quarter of 2007," said Layden.
Job growth in the U.S. economy, the world's largest, has been uneven, with the government reporting that hiring has slowed in recent months.
The unemployment rate has dipped to 7.3 percent, a still elevated figure, but the lowest in nearly five years. Nonetheless, it partly has dropped because some unemployed workers have stopped looking for new jobs and are no longer counted in the government's monthly jobless reports.
Layden said the Manpower survey, though, bodes well for U.S. job seekers.
"The strong year-end hiring forecast is good news for U.S. job seekers. Employers are looking at the remaining budget in the last quarter and expected demand, and they make decisions about staff levels," he said. "And according to this survey, they’re inclined to hire at a slightly stronger pace than we’ve seen previously this year."
The central bank, the Federal Reserve, has been buying $85 billion worth of securities a month to boost the economy. But as the U.S. economy steadily improves, albeit at a slower pace than many officials would like, Fed officials say they may begin to trim the asset purchases and end them altogether by mid-2014. The policy makers are meeting in Washington next Tuesday and Wednesday.