SHRM Report: April 2011 Hiring Slow but Rising on Annual Basis

Mar 31, 2011

Alexandria, Va. – Manufacturing and service-sector payrolls will expand during April 2011 compared with one year ago, though large-scale job creation is not expected, a monthly survey of human resource professionals at more than 1,000 companies shows.

The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®) Report is the only national employment index of HR professionals’ month-ahead hiring expectations.

The report shows that the number of manufacturing companies reporting plans to hire (57.6 percent) during the month of April will reach a four-year high on an annual basis, while the percentage planning layoffs (9.1 percent) will reach a four-year low.

The service sector also will show improvement on an annual basis, though the number of companies planning to hire (41.7 percent) in April is slightly below the four-year high reached in 2008 (46.7 percent). The service-sector layoff rate for April hiring also will reach a four-year low, with 4.1 percent of companies reporting plans to cut payrolls.

“This month’s findings are again somewhat mixed,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. “The employment expectations index for both sectors remained positive, but the service-sector gains have slowed.”

Released the first Thursday of each month, the SHRM LINE Report shows that manufacturing-sector hiring will increase in April by a net of 10.6 points and service-sector hiring will increase by a net of 0.2 points.

A closer look at the net hiring for the manufacturing industry shows that a net of 48.5 percent of companies will hire in April 2011 compared with 37.9 percent a year ago—a net gain of 10.6 points.

In April 2011, service-sector hiring numbers examined more closely show that a net of 37.6 percent of HR professionals said their companies plan to hire compared with 37.4 percent a year ago—a net gain of 0.2 points.

The LINE Report provides a snapshot of anticipated hiring for the month ahead and also examines data from the previous month.

The number of HR professionals reporting increases in new-hire wages and benefits increased in March 2011 for both sectors. Compensation packages in the manufacturing sector rose 5.3 points compared with a year ago, while new-hire compensation in the service sector rose 3.7 points.

“New-hire compensation rose for the sixth consecutive month in March, but the gains remain minimal,” said Schramm.

The LINE Employment Report examines four key areas: employers’ hiring expectations, new-hire compensation, difficulty in recruiting top-level talent and job vacancies. The LINE Report is based on a monthly survey of human resource professionals at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 private service-sector companies. Together, these two sectors make up more than 90 percent of America’s private-sector employment.

Highlights of SHRM LINE year-over-year findings:

Employment Expectations



In March, manufacturing hiring is up on an annual basis.

+10.6 points

+0.2 points

Recruiting Difficulty

In February, the index for recruiting difficulty rose sharply in manufacturing and services compared with a year ago.

+11.4 points

-2.2 points

New-Hire Compensation

The rate of increase for new-hire compensation in February rose on an annual basis in both manufacturing and services.

+5.3 points

+3.7 points

Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment

To read the SHRM LINE Report, visit: and click the “Latest LINE Report” button.

Reporter’s note: 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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