While the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent in December, the lowest since February 2009, companies seem to be thawing the chilly jobs outlook. Here are nine companies hiring this year across the country.
Home Depot, based in Atlanta, announced on Thursday it is planning to hire more than 70,000 seasonal positions as it prepares for spring, the company's busiest selling and hiring season. About half of The Home Depot's seasonal hires last year moved into permanent positions such as cashiers, sales associates, lot associates and garden associates.
The company said it has 2,252 retail stores in all 50 states.
Manufacturer Boeing, based in Chicago, said it is hiring 100 union machinists a week to increase output by 60 percent by 2014 as first reported by Bloomberg. Stephen Davis, a company spokesman, said the company added 10,000 jobs last year in its effort to make more fuel-efficient jets.
Nissan is planning to add around 1,000 jobs across its U.S. operations in 2012. Paula Angelo, Nissan spokeswoman, said the bulk of the hiring will be for technicians at its manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn. and engineers at its technical center in Farmington Hills, Mich.
Yogurt company Chobani, based in Norwich, N.Y., recently began an expansion project at its production facility in South Edmeston, N.Y. That will lead to the creation of 106 new jobs in 2012, said Nicki Briggs, Chobani's director of communication.
Briggs said the company also broke ground on a second production facility in Twin Falls, Idaho, that will result in 400 new jobs.
Apex Systems Inc., an IT staffing firm based in Richmond, Va., is hiring over 5,000 employees nationwide, according to CareerBuilder.com. Jennifer Eanes, spokeswoman for Apex, said the company had approximately 16,200 placements in 2011 and anticipates 20 percent growth in 2012. The company expects to hire in all major industries this year, particularly in project management, business intelligence and electronic healthcare records positions. Eanes said Apex has seen an increase in requests for people with experience in cloud computing and mobile app technology.
Griswold Special Care, a home care service company based in Erdenheim, Pa., has about 4,500 job openings across the country, according to CareerBuilder.com. Many job openings are for caregivers, both live-in and home-visit contractors.
State Farm Insurance, based in Bloomington, Ill., has about 455 job openings, according to CareerBuilder.com.
Based in Houston, Texas, Mattress Firm Inc., has over 200 retail job openings across the country. The company operates over 800 locations across 26 states and is planning to expand, according to its website.
Town Sports International, which owns over 150 health clubs in the metropolitan areas around New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, has over 200 job openings according to CareerBuilder.com. Its gyms include New York Sports Clubs, Boston Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Clubs and Philadelphia Sports Clubs. The company has openings for jobs including personal trainers, membership sales consultants, general managers, and assistant general managers. The company said it is the largest health club company in the Northeastern U.S.