SHRM/Rutgers LINE® Index Forecasts Lowest Hiring in October

For Immediate Release

Sep 25, 2007

Alexandria, Va., Sept. 25, 2007 ─ According to new numbers from the SHRM/Rutgers Leading Indicator of National Employment® (LINE®), manufacturing and service sector hiring for October 2007 will be the weakest since the LINE report has forecast such trends.

The SHRM/Rutgers LINE report began forecasting manufacturing sector hiring trends four years ago and service sector three years ago.

The findings are reported in the October 2007 employment expectations report, an economic indicator that forecasts changes in the national job market by surveying human resource professionals at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 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 forecasts a significant drop in hiring expectations for October 2007 (38.2 net increase) compared to October 2006 (50.0).

“These are the most pessimistic expectations since LINE started four years ago,” said Steven Director, principal investigator for the forecast. “Hiring, wage growth, and recruiting difficulty are all down. Employers are being very cautious about the near term economic outlook,” he said.

Employers reported a rise in the exempt employment vacancy index for September, the month leading into the October forecast—19.7 during September 2007 versus 17.5 in September 2006.

The manufacturing nonexempt employment vacancy index rose to 27.3 in September 2007 from 22.4 in September 2006.

Compared to a year ago, there was an increase in the recruiting difficulty index—25.3 in September 2007 versus 22.8 in September 2006.

The new-hire compensation index for September 2007 plummeted to 2.9 from 13.5 in September 2006. LINE provides the only published index of new-hire compensation.

“New-hire compensation in manufacturing is growing more slowly than in any other month during the last four years,” said Jennifer Schramm, SHRM manager of workplace trends and forecasting.

Service Sector:

The LINE index of service sector employment expectations forecasts weaker growth for October 2007 (40.1) compared with October 2006 (48.9).

“Both service sector and manufacturing employment expectations are the lowest for October since the LINE survey began collecting data,” said Schramm.

The exempt vacancy index fell from 22.0 in September 2006 to 17.9 during September 2007 while the nonexempt vacancy index rose from 27.9 in September 2006 to 34.0 during September 2007.

The recruiting difficulty index is well below that of a year ago—5.8 in September 2007 compared with 10.8 in September 2006.

The new-hire compensation index was relatively unchanged from a year ago, dropping slightly to 14.6 in September 2007 from 15.2 in September 2006.

About LINE

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

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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