Most companies don't expect to hire next quarter

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(Moneywatch) Although the U.S. economy is improving by some measures, most employers don't expect to add jobs in the next three months.

Sixty percent of companies said they don't expect to be hiring in the second quarter of this year, according to a report by job-search site CareerBuilder, which polled more than 2,000 hiring managers. Only 26 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff jobs by the end of June. This is in line with the numbers from the two previous quarters and down from 30 percent for the same period last year. Another 9 percent of the managers expect their companies will be laying people off in the next three months, that's up from 6 percent a year ago.

"The U.S. job market is in a better place today, but concerns over spending cuts, wavering global economies and other factors are weighing on employers' minds," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, in a statement. 

Such concerns are visible in the continued reliance on temporary workers by many companies. Nearly a third of all employers say they plan to hire contract or temporary workers in the second quarter, in line with hiring trends for the same period last year. Roughly a quarter of employers say they intend to shift some temps into permanent positions in the next three months.

Because of the high unemployment rate and listless economy, most hiring managers expect little to no change in how much people will be paid in the next quarter. Nearly 75 percent expect salary levels to stay flat or increase by less than 3 percent.

Here is a breakdown of expected hiring and layoffs in the second quarter of the year by company size, according to CareerBuilder:

  • 50 or fewer employees:17 percent of businesses plan to add full-time, permanent staff, down from 20 percent last year; employers reducing headcount increased to 6 percent in 2013, from 5 percent last year.

  • 250 or fewer employees: 21 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff, down from 22 percent last year; those reducing headcount increased to 7 percent in 2013 from 5 percent last year.

  • 500 or fewer employees: 22 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff, down from 25 percent last year; those reducing headcount increased to 8 percent in 2013 from 5 percent last year.

  • More than 500 employees: 33 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff, down from 38 percent last year; those reducing headcount increased to 10 percent in 2013 from 7 percent last year.

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