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Big Bay Area Companies See Job Growth Ahead

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - Leaders at most of the Bay Area's biggest companies said they are optimistic about the economy, with more than a third planning to hire this year.

Seventy-seven percent of the top managers and executives at Fortune 1000 companies who took part in the Bay Area Business Confidence Survey reported feeling optimistic their businesses would expand during 2011.

"Thirty-eight percent of the managers we polled do expect to hire this year," said Cara France, CEO of Sage Consulting Associates that conducted the survey.

She said that confidence can be found in many industries, but especially in the tech sector.

"There are certain skill sets that are in higher demand than others," France said. "Social media, online marketing, complex project management because so many of the big projects were put on hold during the recession, product management."

KCBS' Margie Shafer Reports:

But if hiring does not keep pace with growth, managers could face retention issues as the recovery picks up steam, something that had not been much of an issue during the Great Recession.

More than 40 percent of the survey respondents said they were unsure about, or unlikely to be in, their current role a year from now.

"Forty percent of them talked about employee burnout and morale issues. And 35 percent of them did talk about being understaffed," France said.

Like most respondents, Phyllis Reynolds, who works in marketing for a Fortune 500 high tech firm, said she continues to work long after leaving the office.

"The whole notion of a 9 to 5 workday has really disappeared, particularly in high tech. We're all always connected. We tend to have global jobs," Reynolds said.

Many on her team worked 50 or 60 hours in a typical week, as did nearly half of those in the Sage survey. That could explain why 43 percent of those surveyed said would trade a higher salary for more time off.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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