SHRM Report: December 2012 Service-Sector Hiring Expected to Reach Four-Year High

Dec 6, 2012

Alexandria, Va. Roughly one-third of service-sector companies and one-fourth of manufactures expect to hire workers in December 2012 according to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Compared to one year ago, December hiring will rise moderately in the service sector and fall slightly in the manufacturing sector. The report also shows that service-sector hiring is expected to reach a four-year high for the month of December (comparing previous SHRM employment reports).

The findings are detailed in the SHRM LINE Report—Leading Indicators of National Employment®. The report provides a snapshot of month-ahead hiring expectations. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report analyzes past-month hiring trends.)

Respondents include HR professionals from 500 service-sector companies and 500 manufacturing companies.

The report shows three key data trends:

  • In the service sector, 43.3 percent of companies will hire while 9.3 percent will trim payrolls, leaving a hiring net of 34 percent. The remaining 47.4 percent report no staffing changes are expected during December 2012; and
  • In the manufacturing sector, 38.9 percent of HR professionals said their company plans to hire workers while 13.6 percent will cut jobs, leaving a positive net of 25.3 percent. The remaining 47.5 percent are expected to hold steady with no hiring or layoffs in December 2012;
  • On an annual basis—comparing December 2012 with December 2011—service-sector hiring will rise by a net of 12.2 points and manufacturing-sector hiring will fall by a net of 3.8 points.

“The expected rise in service-sector hiring is likely sparked by consumer confidence and anticipated spending this winter holiday season,” said Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, and manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.

The SHRM LINE Report also features the only national monthly employment indices capturing HR professionals’ past-month recruiting difficulty, a new-hire compensation index, and an index of exempt and non-exempt job vacancies (in addition to the month-ahead hiring expectations index highlighted above)

Highlights of SHRM LINE year-over-year findings:

Employment Expectations



In December, the hiring rate will fall slightly in manufacturing and rise moderately in services compared with a year ago.

-3.8 points

+12.2 points

Recruiting Difficulty

In November, recruiting difficulty was nearly unchanged in manufacturing and rose in services compared with a year ago.

-0.1 points

+9.9 points

New-Hire Compensation

In November, the rate of increase for new-hire compensation fell slightly in both sectors compared with a year ago.

-1.2 points

-2.4 points

Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment

To read the full SHRM LINE Report, visit: and click the “Latest LINE Report” button. Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

Media: The SHRM LINE Report is released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on the first Thursday of each month. The SHRM employment expectations index describes the same time period referenced approximately one month later in the Employment SituationReport issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter at


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