December Hiring to Inch Up: New-Hire Compensation Up in November

Dec 3, 2010

Alexandria, Va. – Hiring will make slight gains in December, according to a monthly survey of human resource professionals at more than 1,000 companies across the country. And in another positive sign, new-hire compensation rose in November.

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, reveals double-digit hiring gains projected for both the manufacturing and service sectors in December.

THE SHRM LINE Report shows that the manufacturing sector hiring index will rally by 23.3 points in December 2010 compared with December 2009. In the service sector, hiring will increase by 12.4 points. Hiring gains will continue to outpace layoffs, yet the hiring pace is still too slow to affect prevailing unemployment.

“The good news is that fewer HR professionals are reporting that their organizations are laying off employees, reaching four-year lows for both the manufacturing and private service sectors,” said Jennifer Schramm, SHRM’s manager of workplace trends and forecasting.

A net of one-third (34 percent) of manufacturers expect to hire in December, a significant improvement over 10.7 percent last year. Only 9.7 percent of manufacturers plan to cut jobs this month, while 43.7 percent plan to hire.

In the service sector, a net of 31.2 percent of employers plan to hire in December 2010 -- 36.2 percent will add jobs and 5 percent plan to cut jobs. This marks an improvement from December 2009, when a net of 18.8 percent of service sector employers expected to hire.

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

Wages and benefits for newly hired employees in the service sector made noticeable annual gains with a 7.7 point year-over-year net rise in November, reflective of how the economy has improved in the last year. Compensation packages in the manufacturing sectors remained relatively flat in November with a 1.9 point gain.

“Wages and benefits for new-hires really seemed to lose ground in the worst months of the recession, but there have recently been small gains as the economy improves,” 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 comprise more than 90 percent of America’s private sector employment.

Highlights of SHRM LINE year-over-year findings:

Employment Expectations



In December, for the 14th straight month, hiring will increase in manufacturing and services on an annual basis.

+23.3 points

+12.4 points

Recruiting Difficulty

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

+16.1 points

+0.3 points

New-Hire Compensation

+1.9 points

+7.7 points

The rate of increase for new-hire compensation in November 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 Follow us on Twitter at: SHRMPress

Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job

Earn a SHRM Talent Acquisition Specialty Credential.

Do you have what it takes to win the war for talent? Find out.



Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect