SHRM Report: More Employers Will Hire in February 2010

Feb 5, 2010

SHRM Report: More Employers Will Hire in February 2010

Alexandria, Va. – A monthly survey of human resource (HR) managers in more than 1,000 companies across the country shows February 2010 hiring rising, compared with one year ago. This finding continues the recent pattern of slow and steady employment gains.

Though job opportunities are limited, HR managers expect an uptick in manufacturing and service sector company hiring this month, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) LINE® Report.

The SHRM LINE — Leading Indicators of National Employment  hiring index shows a year-over-year positive gain of 60.4 points expected for manufacturing hiring during February, and 19.5 points for service sector hiring.

A closer look at manufacturing sector year-over-year numbers show that a net of 30.3 percent of surveyed companies plan to hire in February 2010 compared with the net of 30.1 percent that laid off workers in February 2009.

In the service sector, year-over-year numbers show a net of 23.5 percent of companies will add jobs in February of this year compared with the net of 4 percent that hired a year ago.

The findings are detailed in the February 2009 SHRM LINE Report, a set of labor market indicators that tracks four national employment measures: (1) job expectations; (2) job vacancies; (3) new-hire compensation; and (4) recruitment difficulty. In short, LINE provides a snapshot of anticipated hiring for the month ahead and also examines data from the previous month.

“For the fourth straight month, the LINE employment expectations index is positive in both the manufacturing and service sectors, with the largest gains in manufacturing,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.

Salaried job openings will increase 28.5 points over last year:

  • Exempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – January 2010 findings show a net total of 8.6 percent of HR professionals reported increases in exempt, primarily salaried, jobs available. (Specifically, 17.4 percent reported increases while 8.8 reported decreases.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the manufacturing sector exempt vacancies represent a 28.5 point increase from January 2009, and the sixth straight month that exempt vacancies are higher compared to one year ago.
  • Exempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 7.7 percent of firms reported an increase in exempt job vacancies in January. (Specifically, 16.5 percent reported increases while 8.8 percent reported decreases.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the service sector exempt vacancies represent a 19.5 point increase from January 2009. The service sector, like the manufacturing sector, also experienced a sixth straight month during which exempt vacancies were higher compared to the previous year.

Hourly jobs openings will jump 38.6 points:

  • Nonexempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – January 2010 numbers show a net total of 15.6 percent of HR managers reported an increase in their company’s nonexempt, or hourly, employment vacancy rate. (Specifically, 26.2 percent reported increases while 10.6 percent reported decreases.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the nonexempt employment vacancy rate for manufacturing jobs represents a 38.6 point increase from one year ago.
  • Nonexempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 7.3 percent reported an increase in hourly job vacancies in January. (Specifically, 20.5 percent reported an increase while 13.2 percent reported a decrease.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the January 2010 service sector nonexempt employment vacancy rate marks a 17.8 point increase from January 2010.

“The increase in the LINE nonexempt job vacancy index compared to January 2009 indicates that production levels are ramping up, a trend supported by the BLS findings that show monthly job losses for manufacturing in the second half of 2009 were about one-fourth as large as those in the first half of 2009,” said Schramm.

New-hire compensation packages and recruiting difficulty trends:

The new-hire compensation index reports previous month data. January 2010 numbers show more manufacturing sector companies increased new-hire salaries and benefits than reduced them — 2.5 percent increased while 1 percent decreased for a net total of 1.5 percent.

Compared year-over-year, the net total marks a 2.3 point increase over January 2009, and the first increase in manufacturing sector new-hire compensation since September 2008.

In the service sector, a net total of 0.8 percent of HR respondents said their company raised new-hire compensation in January 2010. A closer look shows that 3.6 percent increased compensation packages last month while 2.8 reduced compensation packages—net total 0.8 percent.

The recruiting difficulty index shows HR managers had an easier time filling jobs during January 2009 than January 2010.

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 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


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