The survey, conducted for the online job site CareerBuilder, found 26 percent of employers said they expected to hire full-time, permanent workers in the fourth quarter, up from 21 percent who indicated the same in 2011. Nine percent said they would downsize in the fourth quarter, compared with 10 percent who indicated a year earlier that they expected staffing cuts.
The survey indicated 38 percent of the U.S. workforce in the third quarter of 2012 were temporary workers, up from 32 percent in the same quarter of 2011. The number of employers who said they planned to offer permanent jobs to temporary workers increased to 23 percent this year, up from 17 percent in the same quarter last year.
"This is the most optimistic fourth quarter projection since 2007," said CareerBuilder Chief Executive Officer Matt Ferguson in a statement. "We're seeing continued evidence of stability and growth in the U.S. job market."
The survey monitored companies of four different sizes -- from 50 or fewer employees up to more than 500 -- and found increased hiring expectations in each category. It found increased fourth-quarter hiring expectations in the West, South, Northeast and Midwest.
CareerBuilder said the survey -- conducted Aug. 3-Sept. 6 by Harris Interactive -- included 2,494 responses from employers and 3,976 from employees. The survey results have a sampling error of 1.96 percentage points for the sample size of 2,494 and 1.55 percentage points for the sample size of 3,976, respectively.