SHRM Report: June 2009 Hiring a Glimmer of Good News

Jun 5, 2009

SHRM Report: June 2009 Hiring a Glimmer of Good News

Hiring expectations and new-hire starting salaries remain down but job market begins to show some signs of life

Alexandria, Va. More workers are expected to find employment during June compared with the past six months though starting salaries will continue to slump, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) LINE® Employment Report.

The service sector continues to be hit, with a net total of 9.6 percent of companies cutting wages and reducing benefits packages offered to new hires in May. In the manufacturing sector, a net total of 0.1 percent of companies are reducing new-hire compensation. The numbers mark the first May in LINE’s four-year history that the new-hire compensation index is negative, signaling an overall decrease in the wage and benefits packages employers are offering their new hires.

“While June hiring expectations offer a glimmer of good news, the May numbers continue to show a tough environment for job seekers,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.

The findings are detailed in the June 2009 LINE Employment Report(, a set of labor market indicators that forecast changes to four national employment measures: job expectations, job vacancies, new-hire compensation and recruitment difficulty.

The new-hire compensation index in the services sector shows a marked decline compared to this time last year. In May 2008, a net total of 5.9 percent of companies increased compensation for new hires compared with May 2009 when more companies net total of 9.6 percent reduced new-hire compensation.

In the manufacturing sector, year-over-year data showed an 11.4 percent drop in the number of companies offering higher compensation for new employees.

“Even if more employers began hiring, compensation growth for new employees might not pick up right away. There are still so many job seekers out there who have been looking for a long time and many of them are accepting lower pay if it means they can start working again,” said Schramm.

The good news – June employment expectations

June employment will mark a slight improvement with more manufacturing and service sector employers reporting plans to hire than in the previous six months, according to SHRM LINE Report.

However, the report forecasts a 37.1 point drop in manufacturing sector hiring and an 8.21 point decline in service sector hiring for June 2009 compared with June 2008.

In the manufacturing sector, 24.5 percent of HR respondents plan to hire workers while 25.9 percent plan to reduce decrease headcount, for a net total of 1.4 percent in job cuts. The percentage planning to hire is the highest seen in manufacturing companies since November 2008.

Service sector hiring is also up with 41.4 percent of HR professionals reporting plans to hire — the highest seen since September 2008 — while 16.6 percent will eliminate jobs for a net total of 24.8 percent that will add jobs.

“Unsurprisingly, HR professionals in both sectors are reporting little difficulty in recruiting top talent,” said Schramm.”

Additional findings:

  • Exempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – May numbers show a net total of 1.8 percent of HR professionals reported increases in exempt jobs available in the companies.
  • Exempt vacancies (service sector) – May numbers show a net total of 7.2 percent of HR managers reported a decline in their company’s exempt employment vacancy rate.
  • Nonexempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – A net total of 2.3 percent of firms reported an increase in hourly job vacancies in May.
  • Nonexempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 8.5 percent reported a drop in hourly job vacancies in May.

LINE 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.

Reporters note: The SHRM LINE Report is released at 9 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


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