While companies may have entered 2013 facing economic uncertainty, recent employment figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers suggest private U.S. companies will boost hiring efforts this year.

In 2012’s fourth quarter, roughly 56 percent of private companies surveyed in the Private Company Trendsetter Barometer stated they are planning net new hiring over the next 12 months. The number of planned new hires is predicted to grow by 2.8 percent this year, up from 1.6 percent in the previous quarter. The recent rate is the highest since 3.6 in the third quarter of 2008, which suggests businesses are on steadily steering away from recessionary woes. However, a separate study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development suggests the U.S. has yet to make a full recovery. In early 2008, the country’s employment rate was 71.2 percent. In 2012, the rate was just 67.1 percent, according to Dow Jones Business News.

According to PwC, optimism rates for the U.S. decreased between the third and fourth quarter of 2012 to 42 percent. On a positive note, this rate is up 3 percentage points from one year before.

Companies that decide to increase their workforce during a time of modest economic growth and uncertainty surrounding tax requirements should consider outsourcing HR administration and payrolling.

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