Survey: Hiring boosted by rising sales in Q4; firms optimistic on hiring, wages in Q1

IndustriesAssociated Press

Rising sales helped boost hiring at U.S. businesses in the last three months of 2014, and companies are optimistic that continued improvement in business conditions will bring increased employment and wages in the current quarter, a new survey shows.

And many businesses expect the steep drop in oil prices in recent months to have a positive impact on them this year, according to the survey released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.

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Fifty-four percent of the 93 respondents to the quarterly survey said sales at their companies increased in the October-December period. That was up from 49 percent in the third quarter. As sales picked up, so did hiring. Thirty-four percent of companies responding said they hired more workers during the fourth quarter.