Online job company CareerBuilder is predicting a somewhat better hiring climate in 2011, but the company says things will be best in the West.

“More employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in 2011 compared with 2010 with a continued emphasis on hiring in technology and revenue-producing fields,” CareerBuilder said in a report issued Wednesday.

It based the predictions on a survey conducted by Harris Interactive from Nov. 15 to Dec. 2. It included more than 2,400 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes, CareerBuilder said.

“More than half of employers reported they are in a better financial position today than they were one year ago,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “2011 will usher in a healthier employment picture as business leaders grow more confident in the economy. Our survey indicates more jobs will be added in 2011 than 2010, but job-creation will remain gradual. The year will be characterized by steady, measured gains across various industries.”

The upbeat news is muted, however, when CareerBuilder breaks down the information regionally.

Twenty-six percent of hiring managers in the West reported they plan to add full-time, permanent headcount followed by 24 percent in the Northeast and 23 percent in the Midwest and South.

Plans to downsize staffs are trending below the last two years. Eight percent of employers in the South expect to decrease headcount, followed by 7 percent in the Northeast, Midwest and West.

CareerBuilder said its Top 10 functional areas for recruitment next year. based on the percentage of respondents who said they expected to be hiring, are:

  • Sales – 27 percent
  • Information Technology – 26 percent
  • Customer Service – 25 percent
  • Engineering – 21 percent
  • Technology – 19 percent
  • Administrative – 17 percent
  • Business Development – 17 percent
  • Marketing – 17 percent
  • Research/Development – 15 percent
  • Accounting/Finance – 14 percent

CareerBuilder is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). It operates in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia.

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