Strong Hiring Expected in April for Manufacturing and Service Sectors, SHRM LINE Report Shows

New-hire compensation rates rose in March for both sectors when compared to a year ago

Apr 2, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — More than one-half of manufacturers (52 percent) and 2 out of 5 service-sector companies (45.1 percent) are expected to add jobs in April, according to this month’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE) Report.

In March, for the 13th straight month, recruiting difficulty for key positions rose in both sectors compared with the previous year. Survey results from this month show a net of 24.8 percent of manufacturing and 25.3 percent of service-sector respondents had difficulty recruiting for key positions, which notably represents a 12.6-point increase in manufacturing and a 5.3-point increase in the service sector when compared to March 2014.

“With employment expectations up, it is not surprising that HR professionals are reporting increased recruiting difficulty,” said Jen Schramm, SHRM-SCRP, manager of workforce trends at SHRM. “Especially for strategic positions that require higher levels of education and skills, it is getting harder for employers to find matches.”

The SHRM LINE Report, based on a survey of human resource professionals, forecasts employment activity for the coming month about 30 days before data on employment for the same time frame are available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the report, the new-hire compensation rate rose in both sectors in March compared with a year ago, and the net total in the service sector represented a four-year high for the month of March. Despite this increase, however, many organizations are still keeping new-hire compensation relatively flat.

“What many economists are wondering is if this improved hiring trend will begin to translate into higher wages,” Schramm said. “We are seeing some signs that wages for new hires are being influenced by increased recruiting difficulty.”

The LINE Report provides a snapshot of month-ahead hiring expectations and examines difficulty in recruiting top-level talent, new-hire compensation and job vacancies. Respondents include HR professionals from private service-sector companies and manufacturing companies. Together, these sectors employ more than 90 percent of U.S. private-sector workers.

Media: To read the full SHRM LINE Report, visit Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

The SHRM LINE Report is typically 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 a month later by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Situation report.

For more information or an interview with a LINE researcher, contact Vanessa Gray of SHRM Public Affairs at 703-535-6072 or

About the Society for Human Resource Management
​Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.


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