Hiring will continue in March but Won’t Be Widespread, SHRM’s LINE Report Shows

Mar 6, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — ​The Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE) Report released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) predicts a muted hiring picture for March with manufacturing and service-sector companies adding jobs at a smaller rate compared with a year ago.

“We are seeing a little bit of a slowdown in March in several areas,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workforce trends at SHRM. “Hiring will continue, but it won’t be widespread.”

Layoff rates will fall in March compared with a year ago, but hiring rates also will decline in both the manufacturing and service sectors, according to the LINE report. A measured pace of job growth will continue with about 2 in 5 manufacturers and service-sector companies expected to add to their payrolls in March.

A net of 39.3 percent of manufacturers will add jobs in March (44.9 percent will hire; 5.6 percent will cut jobs). The sector’s hiring index will fall by 9.8 points compared with a year ago. A net of 41.6 percent of service-sector companies will grow payrolls in March (46.1 percent will hire; 4.5 percent will cut jobs). The index will decline by just 0.5 points compared with a year ago.

“Openings for both salaried and non-salaried jobs and in both sectors declined in February,” Schramm said. “Fewer job openings also suggest that we might not see a significant pickup in hiring next month.”

The SHRM LINE report, based on a survey of human resource professionals, predicts employment activity for the coming month, about 30 days before statistics on employment are available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Given this somewhat muted hiring picture, recruiting difficulty rates barely changed in February,” Schramm said. “New-hire compensation declined in the service sector and rose only slightly in manufacturing.”

A net of 7.2 percent of manufacturing respondents had more difficulty with recruiting in February, a decline of 1.3 points from February 2013. A net of 10.3 percent of service-sector HR professionals had more difficulty recruiting in February, a 0.1-point decline compared with a year ago.

In terms of new-hire compensation, a net total of 6.7 percent of manufacturing-sector respondents reported increasing new-hire compensation in February, up 1.2 points from February 2013. In the service sector, a net total of 10 percent of companies increased new-hire compensation in February, a decline of 4.5 points from a year ago.

The LINE report provides a human resource snapshot of month-ahead hiring expectations and examines new-hire compensation, difficulty in recruiting top-level talent and job vacancies. Respondents include HR professionals from 500 private service-sector companies and 500 manufacturing companies, which together employ more than 90 percent of U.S. private-sector workers.

Media: To read the full SHRM LINE report, visit www.shrm.org/line. Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

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 a month later by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Situation Report.

For more information or an interview with a LINE researcher, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Public Affairs at 703-535-6260 or Kate.kennedy@shrm.org.

About the Society for Human Resource Management
Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job

Apply by October 19

Get recognized as an HR expert. Earn your SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification, and set yourself apart.

Apply Now


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

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

Search & Connect