SHRM Report: December Hiring Report Shows Little Job Creation and Increasing Recruiting Difficulty

Dec 1, 2011

Alexandria, Va. Recruiting difficulty and new-hire compensation continue to inch up according to a monthly survey of HR professionals at more than 1,000 companies across the U.S.

The report, a snapshot of national hiring trends, also shows that December 2011 net hiring will fall in the manufacturing and service sectors compared with a year ago, and job cuts will rise.

The findings are featured in the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®) Report. LINE is the only national employment index capturing HR professionals’ month-ahead hiring expectations, and past-month recruiting difficulty.

The month-ahead hiring expectations for December 2011 show service-sector hiring will decrease on a year-over-year basis by a net of 9.4 points. The survey shows that a net of 21.8 percent of companies will add jobs during December 2011 compared with a net of 31.2 percent that added workers one year ago.

In the manufacturing sector hiring will fall by 4.9 points on an annual basis. A closer look shows that a net of 29.1 percent of manufacturing companies will hire during December 2011 compared with a net of 34 percent that added jobs one year ago.

The SHRM LINE recruiting-difficulty index shows that a net of 13.5 percent of HR managers in the manufacturing sector reported more difficulty with recruiting in November 2011 compared with 8.3 in November 2010 — a net increase of 5.2 points. In the service sector, a net of 0.3 percent of respondents reported more difficulty in recruiting for key positions during November 2011, marking a 2.7 point increase from November 2010.

“The gains, though small, mark the highest net of recruiting difficulty in four years for the month of November, for both sectors, and are worth noting given the struggling national economy,” said Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, and manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.

The December LINE findings regarding past-month — November — recruiting difficulty underscore the findings of another SHRM survey in which 52 percent of HR professionals reported difficulty finding properly-skilled workers for current job openings.

New-hire compensation also inched up in both sectors amidst a rising recruiting-difficulty index.

A net total of 9.9 percent of service-sector companies increased new-hire compensation in November 2011 — 10.4 percent increased and 0.5 percent decreased new-hire compensation. The numbers mark a slight increase of 0.7 points from last year.

In the manufacturing sector, a net total of 6 percent of respondents reported increasing new-hire compensation last month. Specifically, 6.2 percent of HR professionals said their organizations increased new-hire compensation in November 2011 while 0.2 percent decreased it. The difference marks a 3 point increase from one year ago.

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 make up more than 90 percent of America’s private-sector employment.

Highlights of SHRM LINE year-over-year findings:

Employment Expectations



In December, hiring will drop slightly in manufacturing and fall moderately in services compared with a year ago.

-4.9 points

-9.4 points

Recruiting Difficulty

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

+5.2 points

+2.7 points

New-Hire Compensation

In November, the rate of increase for new-hire compensation rose marginally in both sectors compared with a year ago.

+3.0 points

+0.7 points

Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment

To read the SHRM LINE Report, visit: and click the “Latest LINE Report” button. Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

Media: The SHRM LINE Report is released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on the first Thursday of each month. The SHRM employment expectations index describes the same time period referenced approximately one month later in the Employment SituationReport 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

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