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A real-time look at who’s hiring and where

Want to find out which companies have announced they’re planning to add to their ranks? While job location, required skills and pay run the gamut, a new web resource is providing just that.

By Anne Fisher, contributor

Fresh from a year analysts expect will be Ford Motor Co.’s most profitable ever, the automaker plans to hire about 7,000 people, in part to rev up production of its new C-Max minivan.

French strategy consulting firm Capgemini, headquartered in Paris, is opening a new office in Charlotte, N.C., that will bring 550 new employees on board. (AMZN) is spending $139 million to build two new facilities in Tennessee, hiring about 1,400 locals, plus hundreds more temporary workers during the 2011 holiday season.

Those recent announcements and many more, gathered from news sources all over the U.S., appear on career site’s new employment tracker, which CEO Claude Sheer describes as “a tool to help job seekers make sense of all the coming changes in the job market.”

The site started listing layoff announcements in 2009 — “Those were darker times,” says Sheer — and still posts real-time reports on which companies are letting workers go, and where the job losses are occurring.

Even so, a look at the new-hire feature offers a glimmer of hope. Consider: General Dynamics (GD) is hiring 200 people in Pittsfield, Mass. to work on a new Navy shipbuilding contract. Macy’s (M) plans to boost headcount by 3,500 over the next three years, starting with 725 hires this year in New York City, San Francisco, and Atlanta, to handle its robust online businesses, and T-Mobile USA needs to replace 200 people in Wichita, Kan. who have left due to routine attrition and retirement.

Skill levels (and pay) are all over the map: Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) needs 1,700 employees nationwide to staff 55 new shops, for instance, and Sam’s Club is recruiting 170 clerks, cashiers, and supervisors for a new store in Riverview, Fla.

But job seekers can also find nuggets of gold. Two examples: In Addison, Tex., near Dallas, financial services firm USAA is planning a new office that will employ 200 Series-7-licensed financial advisers. Pharmaceutical maker Novartis (NVS) wants about 100 people for a new research-and-development center in Holly Springs, N.C., near Raleigh, and the company has said that many of those jobs will be highly skilled positions paying $100,000 or more.

Despite the persistently dismal unemployment rate at present, Sheer thinks the hiring announcements his site has reported so far this year are just the beginning of a resurgence in job creation.

“Many companies saw record profits in 2010 and are sitting on unprecedented piles of cash,” he notes. Some clearly intend to spend it on hiring — like global accounting and consulting giants Deloitte and KPMG, which announced late last year that they will hire a jaw-dropping 250,000 people by 2016.

“Those plans by two competing firms underline a key fact about hiring,” observes Sheer. “Companies tend to move in packs. Thus, if one company decides to grow its headcount, its rivals will follow. What we’re waiting for, then, is for a few more industry leaders to take the plunge.”

Here’s hoping they do it soon.