Obviously, the hopeful among us (and probably a bunch of the pessimists too!!) will answer, "YES!!". One thing for sure, we'd all like it to be... in fact we'd all have preferred 2011 or 2010 to have been that year.
So are there really any economic indicators that are showing the economy is recovering? There was a rise in IT salaries this year, though not huge, however the whole IT sector is pretty healthy, despite the fact that so many companies are abandoning the USA and sending jobs to India, Asia and Latin America. Whilst this cheap labor seems a boon to the bottom line, consumers are likely to vote with their feet when an American alternative appears. This is why we don't outsource.
Overall, most hiring managers appear to have a similar mindset to last year. Approximately 1/4 (23%) of employers plan new hires for 2010, down 1% from 2011. However,Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, says that, historically, their surveys have shown that employers are more conservative in their predictions than actual hiring, so he expects 2012 to outperform hiring in 2011.
Gallup reports that Americans' economic confidence is at a seven-month high. The National Federation of Independent Business reports that small business confidence is also up for the fourth straight month. Likewise, the most recent Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment has shown four straight months of improvement. And the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index jumped more than 9 points, to 64.5, in December.
In our very small corner of the world, we are experiencing a good rate of inquiries and new commissions. This year alone, we have had 8 new inquiries, of which we have received 5 new commissions, and launched 2 new sites. Maybe it's the way we have set up our "No upfront fees" package policy, or the monthly fee structure. We have certainly thought hard about how we offer our services to our customers and it seems to be working.
All the best for 2012!