“All of our hiring indicators are turning more negative,” said Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates, in a statement.
Fifty-eight percent of direct marketer respondents said they plan to add staff during the first quarter, down 2% from last year’s fourth-quarter survey. Direct marketers also plan more layoffs, with 12% indicating they plan to reduce payroll, up from 9% last quarter.
In addition, the percentage of companies imposing a hiring freeze for the first quarter increased four percentage points to 13%.
A total of 79 companies responded to the online survey the week of Jan. 7.