NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Job seekers may get some reprieve in the new year, according to a study released by a job search company Tuesday.
Twenty percent of employers plan to increase the number of full-time, permanent employees in 2010, up from 14% in 2009, according to CareerBuilder's 2010 Job Forecast.
Although employers remain cautious about hiring, "there have been many signs over the past few months that point to the healing of the U.S. economy, especially the continued decrease in the number of jobs lost per month," Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, said in a statement.
Only 9% of the employers surveyed said they plan to decrease headcount in 2010, down from 16% last year, while 61% don't plan to change staff levels and 10% are unsure.
Part-time opportunities are also on the rise, CareerBuilder said. Eleven percent of employers said they plan to add part-time employees in 2010, up from 9% in 2009.
Just 8% said they plan to decrease their part-time help in the year ahead, down from 14%, while 69% plan no change in headcount and 13% are unsure.
Hiring is expected to increase in information technology, manufacturing, financial services, professional and business services and sales in the coming year, CareerBuilder said.
When asked which areas employers plan to hire for in the year ahead, one-third said technology, followed by customer service. Slightly less than one-quarter said they plan to add sales people, while research/development, business development, accounting/finance and marketing positions were also well represented.
In keeping with 2009's trend, many employers anticipate hiring freelancers or contractors to keep costs down in 2010.
According a recent tally, 7.2 million jobs have been lost since the start of the recession and 15.4 million Americans are now unemployed and seeking work.
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