Managers in accounting, finance and IT are looking to strengthen their hiring plans for the rest of the year, according to a new hiring forecast from recruiting company Brilliant.

“This forecast reveals a major increase in unfilled positions, with 50 percent of hiring managers now addressing an influx of unfilled positions,” said Dr. Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, who directed the survey. “This is an increase of 17 percent from last quarter’s hiring forecast, which is pretty significant.”

The forecast is based on a hiring survey of 185 HR professionals and hiring managers in accounting, finance and IT, half of whom reported unfilled positions in their staffs for the fourth quarter. That’s in keeping with the results from the Q3 survey, but significantly higher than earlier in 2013 and 2012, when approximately 30 percent reported unfilled positions.

Over a quarter of respondents (28 percent) reported that they were at risk of losing key employees in the next 12 months.

“This forecast reveals a strong opportunity for hiring professionals and top talent alike with accounting, finance and IT roles,” said Brilliant CEO Jim Wong. “Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act, there is increased opportunity for growth, and the focus is on filling permanent positions.”

The full forecast is available for download here.