SHRM Report: Manufacturing Sector Leads the Way for Hiring in March 2012

Mar 8, 2012
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SHRM Report: Manufacturing Sector Leads the Way for Hiring in March 2012

Alexandria, Va. Though far more companies are expected to hire than lay off in March 2012, the picture is more mixed when compared on an annual basis according to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) that surveyed 500 service-sector companies and 500 manufacturing companies.

The report shows that service-sector hiring will drop by a net of 10.3 points and manufacturing-sector hiring will rise by a net of 4.8 points, comparing March 2012 to March 2011.

The findings are detailed in the 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 report also includes a new-hire compensation index and an index of exempt and non-exempt job vacancies.

A closer look at the SHRM LINE service-sector hiring index shows that a net of 24.7 percent of employers plan to add jobs in March 2012 compared with a net of 35 percent that did so one year ago—a 10.3 point drop.

The month alone, however, shows a more positive outlook with more service-sector companies planning to hire (31.6 percent) than layoff (6.9 percent).

In the manufacturing sector, a net of 50.5 percent of companies plan to hire workers in March 2012, a slight increase from the 45.7 percent that added workers one year ago and the highest net hiring level since July 2006 (52.7 percent).

A further breakdown of the manufacturing-sector hiring index also shows that March 2012—when examined on its own—will have significantly more companies hiring (55.6 percent) workers than cutting (5.1 percent) jobs.

“Steady hiring is likely driving the continuing rise in recruiting difficulty for the manufacturing sector,” said Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, and manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.

The recruiting-difficulty index for February 2012—LINE’s analysis of past-month data—rose 5.9 points in the manufacturing sector and fell 9.2 points in the service sector.

The March 2012 SHRM LINE report breakdown shows that during February 2012:

  • In the manufacturing sector, a net total of 17.5 percent of human resource managers said their company experienced recruiting difficulty (21.3 percent said yes, 3.8 percent said no;
  • In the service sector, a net total of 5.2 percent of human resource managers said their company experienced less difficulty in recruiting for key positions (10.7 percent had more difficulty, 15.9 percent had less); and
  • On an annual basis, the numbers rise moderately by 5.9 points in the manufacturing sector and fall by 9.2 points in the service sector.

The number of companies reporting increased new-hire compensation changed little, rising 0.7 points in the manufacturing sector and falling 1.9 points in the service sector, comparing February 2012 with February 2011.

Highlights of SHRM LINE year-over-year findings:

Employment Expectations

Manufacturing

Service

In March, hiring will rise slightly in manufacturing and fall in services compared with a year ago.

+4.8 points

-10.3 points

Recruiting Difficulty

In February, the index for recruiting difficulty rose slightly in manufacturing and fell moderately in services compared with a year ago.

+5.9 points

-9.2 points

New-Hire Compensation

In February, the rate of increase for new-hire compensation was nearly unchanged in both sectors compared with a year ago.

+0.7 points

-1.9 points

Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment

To read the SHRM LINE Report, visit: http://www.shrm.org/line 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.

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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 www.shrm.org and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SHRMPress.

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