Companies are modestly stepping up hiring plans and increasingly report that wages are rising, according to a survey on Monday that suggested the economic recovery is gaining some traction.
The National Association of Business Economics' industry survey found that 39 percent of respondents expect hiring will pick up in their companies and industries during the next six months, up from 27 percent in January.
Some 48 percent of respondents expect hiring will hold steady. While that is down from 64 percent in January, it still underscores the slow pace of recovery in the labor market following the 2007-2009 recession.
The survey was conducted between March 20 and April 10. The NABE surveyed 55 members from companies and trade organizations. not all responded to every question.
The uptick in demand for labor could be leading companies to offer bigger paychecks. Some 44 percent of respondents said wages and salaries were rising, up from 26 percent in January.
The poll also showed 63 percent of respondents expected U.S. gross domestic product to grow between 2.1 and 3 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.
In the NABE's previous poll released in January, 60 percent of respondents expected growth in that range.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by James Dalgleish)