SHRM Report: February Hiring Expected to Increase; Vacancies for Manufacturing Jobs Also on the Rise

Feb 3, 2011

Alexandria, Va. – The number of organizations planning to hire will continue to make small gains in February for the 16th straight month on an annual basis according to a monthly survey of human resource professionals at more than 1,000 companies across the country.

The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®) Report includes the only national employment index of HR professionals’ month-ahead hiring expectations. The February report shows hiring will reach a four-year high in the manufacturing industry and a near four-year high in the service sector. The layoff rate will hit a four-year low in both sectors for February.

Released the first Thursday of each month, the SHRM LINE Report for February 2011 shows that manufacturing sector hiring will increase by 12.4 points and service sector hiring by 9.7 points compared with February 2010.

“In the manufacturing sector, a net of 42.7 percent of employers expect to hire in February 2011, an improvement over the net of 30.3 percent who hired last year,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.

A closer look at the net hiring expectation shows that 7.9 percent of manufacturers plan to cut jobs this month while 50.6 percent plan to hire workers.

More than one third—a net of 33.2 percent—of service sector employers plan to hire this month, up from a net of 23.5 percent one year ago. Also expected are fewer service sector layoffs this month compared to one year ago—7.1 percent in February 2011 compared with 11.5 percent in February 2010. A breakdown of the service sector hiring net number shows 40.3 percent of employers plan to add jobs, leaving the 7.1 percent who plan to cut jobs.

The LINE Report 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 inched up in January 2011 for both sectors. Compensation packages in the service sector made a 2.9 point net gain compared with one year ago, while the manufacturing sector made a 3.8 point year-over-year net gain.

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 February, for the 16th straight month, hiring will increase in manufacturing and services on an annual basis.

+12.4 points

+9.7 points

Recruiting Difficulty

In January, the index for recruiting difficulty rose sharply in manufacturing and slightly in services compared with a year ago.

+14.3 points

+13.6 points

New-Hire Compensation

+3.8 points

+2.1 points

The rate of increase for new-hire compensation in January rose on an annual basis in both manufacturing and services.

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 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

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