SHRM/Rutgers LINE® Index Forecasts Manufacturing- and Service-Sector Hiring Trends for August 2007

For Immediate Release

Jul 24, 2007
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(Alexandria, Va., July 24, 2007)—According to new numbers from the SHRM/RutgersLeading Indicator of National Employment® (LINE®), manufacturing hiring will be slightly stronger in August 2007 compared with a year ago, and service-sector hiring will be weaker.

The findings are reported in the July LINE index, an economic indicator that forecasts changes in the national job market by surveying human resource executives at more than 1,000 manufacturing and service-sector firms. The LINE report is a collaborative effort between the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations.

The indicator reports on four employment measures: job expectations, job vacancies, new-hire compensation and recruitment difficulty. The LINE employment expectations index provides an early indication of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) numbers, released five weeks later.

Manufacturing Sector:

The LINE index of manufacturing-employment expectations was nearly flat compared to a year ago, rising from 46.5 percent in August 2006 to 47.3 percent in August 2007.

Employers reported a higher increase in the number of exempt-employment vacancies during July, the month leading into the August forecast—19.7 percent during July 2007 versus 13.5 percent in July 2006.

While exempt-employment vacancies rose, non-exempt employment vacancies dropped to 13.5 percent in July 2007 from 17.6 percent in July 2006.

Compared to a year ago, fewer employers reported recruiting difficulties for key positions—14.7 percent in July 2007 versus 22.7 percent in July 2006—while the number of employers reporting an increase in new-hire compensation for July 2007 is only slightly higher than the one year ago (12.1 percent versus 11.6 percent).

Service Sector:

The LINE index of service-sector employment expectations forecasts fewer firms will expand their workforce during August 2007 (47.1 percent) compared to August 2006 (54 percent).

Exempt employee job vacancies dropped slightly from 12 percent in July 2006 to 11.1 percent during July 2007. Non-exempt vacancies also fell slightly compared to this time last year, from 17.8 percent in July 2006 to 16.7 percent during July 2007.

The number of service-sector employers reporting an increase in new-hire compensation jumped to 14.1 percent during July 2007 compared to 9.5 percent in July 2006. The percentage of employers reporting recruiting difficulties for key positions increased only slightly, from 14.5 percent in July 2006 to 15.2 percent during July 2007.

About LINE

This SHRM/Rutgers LINE indicator of employment expectations provides an early snapshot of anticipated U.S. hiring and references the same August period as the report the BLS will release in September. The responses in the LINE survey are weighted using the proportion of total employment represented by the respondent’s industry.

The LINE® indicator is released at 8:30 am Eastern time on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

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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 225,000 individual members, the Society’s mission is both to serve human resource management professionals and to advance the profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM currently has more than 576 affiliated chapters within the United States and members in more than 135 countries. Visit SHRM Online at

School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers

The School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is a leading center of scholarly and applied research on human resource management issues. The school creates and disseminates knowledge that fosters a better understanding of the nature of employment and work in modern society. The Rutgers Master of Human Resource Management degree is one of the top human resource management programs in the nation.

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