SHRM Report: HR Hiring Expectations Up Slightly in November 2009

Nov 6, 2009

SHRM Report: HR Hiring Expectations Up Slightly in November 2009

LINE Report shows hiring snapshot for month ahead.

ContactJulie Malveaux – (703) 535-6273 –

Contact Jennifer Hughes – (703) 535-6072 –

Alexandria, Va. – Though human resource managers expect manufacturing and service sector hiring to inch up in November, marking the fifth consecutive month that overall job additions will outpace layoffs in both sectors, hiring will be far from widespread, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) LINE® Employment Report.

A closer look at the manufacturing sector shows that a net total 17.8 percent of companies will add jobs this month. Specifically, 32 percent of HR professionals surveyed said their company will increase staffing while 14.2 percent will cut jobs.

The service sector shows that a net total of 15.8 percent of companies will add jobs in November — 26.1 percent will hire workers while 10.3 percent will reduce staffing levels. The number marks the seventh straight month that the service sector hiring rate will surpass this sector’s layoff rate.

“Though November will mark the first time that year-over-year hiring expectations have increased in the service sector since February 2008, and in the manufacturing sector since August 2007, net expectations are low, reflecting a slow job market recovery,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.

The findings are detailed in the November 2009 SHRM LINE Reportalso called the SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment Report a set of labor market indicators that tracksfour national employment measures: job expectations, job vacancies, new-hire compensation and recruitment difficulty.

LINE provides a snapshot of anticipated hiring for the month ahead and also examines data from the previous month.

The full report:

A closer look at new-hire compensation packages

The new-hire compensation index in the services sector in October shows more companies raised new-hire salaries and benefits than reduced them. LINE data show that 4.4 percent of surveyed HR professionals said their company increased compensation compared with 2.2 percent who reported decreases a net total of 2.2 percent.

The year-over-year number, however, did not improve in October 2008, a net total of 6.4 percent of companies increased compensation for new hires.

In the manufacturing sector, a net total of 0.1 percent of HR respondents said their company reduced new-hire compensation in October 2009. A closer look shows that 2.4 percent increased compensation packages while 2.5 reduced compensation packages. The net total is the lowest for October in the report’s five-year history tracking the manufacturing sector.

“The rate of increase for new-hire compensation continues to fall as it has for more than a year — 13 months to be exact, according to LINE,” said Schramm. “With high numbers of people out of work, employers are able to find qualified job applicants even when offering low new-hire compensation packages.”

LINE data show that HR professionals in both sectors continue to report a large unemployment pool from which to recruit.

Additional findings:

  • Exempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – October numbers show a net total of 6.2 percent of HR professionals reported increases in exempt,primarily salaried, jobs available. (Specifically, 15.9 percent reported increases while 9.7 reported decreases.)
  • Exempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 1.9 percent of firms reported an increase in exempt job vacancies in October. (Specifically, 11.9 percent reported an increase while 10 percent reported a decrease.)
  • Nonexempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – October numbers show a net total of 4.1 percent of HR managers reported an increase in their company’s nonexempt, or hourly, employment vacancy rate. (Specifically, 18 percent reported increases while 13.9 percent reported decreases.)
  • Nonexempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 15.6 percent reported an increase in hourly job vacancies in October. (Specifically, 27.7 percent reported an increase while 12.1 percent reported a decrease.)

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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