SHRM/Rutgers LINE® Index Forecasts November Drop in Manufacturing Hiring and Rise in Service Hiring

For Immediate Release

Oct 23, 2007

Alexandria, Va. ─ According to new numbers from the SHRM/Rutgers Leading Indicator of National Employment® (LINE®), manufacturing sector hiring will slow, while service-sector hiring will rise, in November, 2007.

The findings are reported in the November 2007 LINE employment 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 SHRM/Rutgers LINE report began forecasting manufacturing sector hiring trends four years ago and service sector three years ago. 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 Statistics (BLS) report, released five weeks later.

Manufacturing Sector:

The LINE index of manufacturing employment expectations forecasts a slight drop in hiring expectations for November 2007 (41.5 net increase) compared to November 2006 (44.1).

Employers reported a sharp rise in the exempt employment vacancy index for October, the month leading into the November forecast—23.5 during October 2007 versus 12.6 in October 2006.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing nonexempt employment vacancy index fell slightly to 18.9 in October 2007 from 20.2 in October 2006.

“These numbers suggest that any sluggishness in manufacturing employment would be primarily affecting nonexempt workers,” said Jennifer Schramm, SHRM manager of workplace trends and forecasting.

Compared to a year ago, there was a decrease in the manufacturing recruiting difficulty index—16.2 in October 2007 versus 20.5 in October 2006.

The new-hire compensation index for October 2007 rose to 12.1 from 10.9 in October 2006. LINE provides the only published index of new-hire compensation.

Service Sector:

The LINE index of service-sector employment expectations forecasts stronger growth for November 2007 (42.5) compared with November 2006 (35.2).

The exempt vacancy index plunged from 10.1 in October 2006 to 0.9 during October 2007 while the nonexempt vacancy index plummeted from 16.6 in October 2006 to 1.0 during October 2007.

“Service-sector vacancy indices dropped to the lowest points since LINE started tracking this sector three years ago,” said Schramm.

The recruiting difficulty index is well below that of a year ago—11.0 in October 2007 compared with 19.5 in October 2006.

The new-hire compensation index was relatively unchanged from a year ago, dropping slightly to 14.7 in October 2007 from 14.8 in October 2006.

About LINE

This SHRM/Rutgers LINE indicator of employment expectations provides an early snapshot of anticipated U.S. hiring for 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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