SHRM Report: May 2010 Hiring To Reach Highest Level In More Than Two Years

May 7, 2010

SHRM Report: May 2010 Hiring To Reach Highest Level In More Than Two Years

Alexandria, Va. A monthly survey of human resource (HR) professionals at more than 1,000 companies across the country shows May 2010 hiring is expected to jump compared with this time last year and the year before. The findings are detailed in the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) LINE® Report, which includes the only national employment index of month-ahead hiring expectations.

The SHRM LINE — Leading Indicators of National Employment  employment expectations index shows a year-over-year positive gain of 48.7 points expected for manufacturing hiring during May, and 37 points for service sector hiring.

“Though unemployment remains high, signs are growing more positive this month with the LINE employment expectations indices for both sectors reaching levels not seen since 2007,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. “The percentage of manufacturing companies that are hiring is the highest since October 2007 and in the service sector, since June 2007.”

The manufacturing sector year-over-year numbers show that more employers plan to hire in May 2010 than they did during May 2009. A net of 43.9 percent of surveyed companies plan to hire this month compared with the net of 4.8 percent that reduced staff one year ago when layoffs outpaced hiring.

In the service sector, year-over-year numbers show a net of 54.4 percent of companies will add jobs in May of this year compared with the net of 17.4 percent that hired a year ago.

The May 2010 SHRM LINE Report highlights a set of labor market indicators tracking four national employment measures: (1) employment expectations; (2) job vacancies; (3) new-hire compensation; and (4) recruiting difficulty. In short, LINE provides a snapshot of anticipated hiring for the month ahead and also examines data from the previous month.

New-hire compensation and recruiting trends:

The new-hire compensation index reports the previous month’s data. The current report shows that in April 2010, the rate of new-hire compensation increased in both sectors compared with April 2009, marking the third straight month of growth.

In the manufacturing sector, 6.1 percent of employers increased new hire salaries and benefits while 1.2 percent decreased for a net total of 4.9 percent. Compared with April 2009, the April 2010 increase marks a 7.2 point jump in new-hire compensation.

In the service sector, 3.4 percent of employers increased compensation packages while 4.7 reduced compensation packages for a net total of -1.3 percent, a 10.9 point year-over-year improvement.

“Improved hiring is likely what’s behind the slight rise in the LINE recruiting difficulty index with more employers reporting difficulty filling their ‘A positions’ compared with this time one year ago,” said Schramm.

Salaried job openings, trends:

  • Exempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – April 2010 findingsshow a net total of18.7 percent of HR professionals reported increases in exempt, primarily salaried, jobs available. (Specifically, 24.5 percent reported increases while 5.8 reported decreases.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the manufacturing sector exempt vacancies represent a 22.2 point increase from April 2009, and the ninth consecutive month that exempt vacancies are higher compared to same month, previous year.
  • Exempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 16.6 percent of firms reported an increase in exempt job vacancies in April 2010. (Specifically, 25.9 percent reported increases while 9.3 percent reported decreases.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the service sector exempt vacancies represent a 28.6 point increase from April 2009. The service sector, like the manufacturing sector, also experienced the ninth straight month during which exempt vacancies were higher compared to the previous year.

Hourly jobs openings, trends:

  • Nonexempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – April 2010 numbers show a net total of 23.7 percent of HR managers reported an increase in their company’s nonexempt, or hourly, employment vacancy rate. (Specifically, 31.9 percent reported increases while 8.2 percent reported decreases.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the nonexempt employment vacancy rate for manufacturing jobs represents a 28.6 point increase from one year ago.
  • Nonexempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 29.1 percent reported an increase in hourly job vacancies in April. (Specifically, 36.9 percent reported an increase while 7.8 percent reported a decrease.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the April 2010 service sector nonexempt employment vacancy rate marks a 31 point increase from April 2009.

To read the SHRM LINE Report, visit: and click the “Latest LINE Report” button.

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.

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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