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In N.J., a competitive hiring market for those with right skills

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The unemployed are finding jobs quicker than they were just a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the average time spent job hunting while out of work spent is at 16 weeks, down significantly from the 20.8 week average in 2012.

“This speaks to the slow and steady growth of the job market,” said Adam Samples, metro marketing manager in northern New Jersey for Robert Half International, a staffing firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. “A lot of companies are becoming confident in their growth prospects, and they are filling positions that they were hesitant to hire for two or three years ago.”

While the national unemployment rate is 7.9 percent, the rate for skilled professionals in New Jersey is between 3 percent and 4 percent, Samples said. Jobs in specialized markets such as accounting, information technology, administrative support and financial analysis are in high demand.

“In the general market, the unemployment rate is painfully high,” Samples said. “But in certain job classes, there is a war on talent. We’re seeing skilled candidates getting multiple job offers. Companies need to look at their total compensation package and move as quick as possible when they have the right candidate in their hands.”

Samples said there is an increase in hiring part-time workers, mainly from smaller companies looking for those skilled in accounting, marketing and bookkeeping.

“We’ve seen a continual demand in temp staffing, too,” he said. “Companies have projects that they’ve pulled down from the shelves and dusted off.”

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