Owatonna, Minn.—Digital and direct marketers are planning a ramp-up in hiring this winter, according to Bernhart Associates' latest “Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report.” Forty-six percent of survey respondents indicated they plan to add staff during the first quarter of this year. Moreover, hiring freezes seem to be abating, according to the online survey of 544 marketers, agencies and suppliers. Among those companies surveyed, 26% reported they planned a hiring freeze during this quarter, compared with 45% in the fourth quarter of 2009. Also, no agency or supplier that responded to the survey said it expected further layoffs. Among employers who imposed pay cuts last year, 37% said they plan to partially or fully reinstate those wages in 2010. Only 20% said pay cuts will remain in effect for this year, and 43% said they are unsure when salaries will be restored to previous levels.