A recent survey conducted by Fort Collins-based Colorado Job Base shows positive trends in employment, salary and benefits throughout the state.

The Colorado Employment Survey polled more than 70 regional employers of various sizes, sectors, pay-grades and market demographics and found that — among other things — 51 percent of the respondents plan to hire either moderately or majorly within the next 12 months.

In addition, it showed that nearly half of respondents characterized themselves as optimistic about the overall business climate, while 35 percent saw no change and only 2 percent saw it worsening. Also related to the potential rise in employment throughout the next year is that 68 percent of respondent employers report hiring primarily within Colorado, while only 32 percent said they with don’t or that it depends on the position.

The largest portion of those surveyed, 44 percent, said the current job market in Colorado is best described as balanced, while 28 percent each said the market belonged to either employers or job candidates.

While 34 percent of the 70 companies said they use internet resources to recruit candidates, 36 percent said that personal connections and networking were still the top method for them. Sadly, nearly half of them said that the main challenge they face as employers is candidates’ lack of experience while only 3 percent cited an over-abundance of education.

Also positive for the job market is the representation of 48 companies (62 percent) who said that salaries are generally increasing and that 72 of them (92 percent) offer health insurance to their employees.

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Thirty-two percent of the companies polled employ 11 to 50 people and another 27 percent employ 101 to 500, while only 5 percent represented employers of 1001 or more. Of these companies, the largest sectors represented are computer software firms, 10 percent, and manufacturing, 10 percent, and education, at 8 percent. No companies identified as utilities, environmental, architecture/design, consumer goods, agriculture, computer semiconductors, computer storage, recreation or real estate responded to the survey.

According to ColoradoJobBase.com, the organization “is the dominant regional employment site for Colorado professionals. It has sourced more than 70,000 jobs and established a reach of 200,000+ professionals through the web, email and social media.”

Look here for entire results of the survey.