SHRM Report: August 2010 Hiring Expected To Inch Up and Layoffs Will Fall to Three-Year Low

Aug 6, 2010

Alexandria, Va. – August job growth will show small gains over last year while the layoff rate will drop to a three-year low according to a monthly survey of human resource professionals at more than 1,000 companies across the country.

The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®) Report, which includes the only national employment index of month-ahead hiring expectations, shows a 20-plus point increase in August hiring plans for the manufacturing and service sectors compared to last year.

Layoffs will fall to numbers not seen since 2007 with 7.7 percent of manufacturers and six percent of service sector companies citing plans to cut jobs during August 2010. Three years ago, 9.5 percent of manufacturers and four percent of service-sector companies cut staff.

“Despite the fact that employers are not engaged in large-scale hiring, layoffs have clearly abated compared with this time last year,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. “The encouraging news is that payrolls appear to be stabilizing at many companies.”

THE SHRM LINE Report shows that the manufacturing hiring index improved by 26.2 points in August compared with a year ago, and it improved 21.4 points in the service sector. Despite the increased activity and fewer layoffs, the unemployment rate is expected to remain elevated throughout 2010.

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

Overall, 44.9 percent of manufacturers expect to hire in August, while 7.7 percent plan to cut jobs. The net of 37.2 percent is not far behind the 47.3 percent from August 2007.

In the service sector, 44.3 percent of employers plan to hire in August, and six percent plan to cut jobs. The net of 38.3 percent is the highest percentage since August 2007.

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 comprise more than 90 percent of America’s private sector employment.

Highlights of SHRM LINE year-over-year findings:

Employment Expectations



In August, for the 10th straight month, hiring will increase in manufacturing and services on an annual basis.

+26.2 points

+21.4 points

Recruiting Difficulty

In July, the index for recruiting difficulty rose moderately in both sectors compared with a year ago.

+16.6 points

+18 points

New-Hire Compensation

+2.9 points

+8.1 points

The rate of increase for new-hire compensation in July rose on an annual basis in both sectors.

Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment

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

Reporters note: The SHRM LINE Report is released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on the third Friday following the conclusion of the week containing the 12th of the month. The SHRM employment expectations index describes the same time period referenced approximately one month later in the Employment Situation Report 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


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