SHRM Report: Small Hiring Gains for August Expected to Surpass One Year Ago

Aug 2, 2012

Alexandria, Va. Though small, the hiring gains expected during August 2012 will surpass the rate from the same month last year, according to the Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®) report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The report, a survey of 500 service-sector companies and 500 manufacturing companies, shows that service-sector hiring will rise by a net of 9.4 points and manufacturing-sector hiring will increase by a net of five points when comparing August 2012 to August 2011.

A closer look shows:

  • In the service sector, 33.8 percent of companies will hire while 5.2 percent will trim payrolls, leaving a hiring net of 28.6 percent. The remaining 71.4 percent report no staffing changes are expected in August; and
  • In the manufacturing sector, 49 percent of HR professionals said their company plans to hire workers while 8.4 percent will cut jobs, leaving a positive net of 40.6 percent. The remaining 59.4 percent are expected to hold steady with no hiring or layoffs.

“A second piece of good news is that this month marks the first time since April 2011 that the year-over-year comparisons for employment expectations showed an increase in both sectors,” said Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, and manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.

LINE features the only national monthly employment indices 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.

“HR professionals in the manufacturing and services sectors also reported a slight year-over-year increase in recruiting difficulty for their jobs of most strategic importance,” said Schramm. “The rise in the employment expectations and recruiting difficulty indices are faint but positive signs nonetheless.”

The most recent recruiting-difficulty index data—July 2012—show a net 15.9 percent of manufacturing sector respondents had more difficulty recruiting during the month. In the services sector, a net of 5.1 percent of HR professionals reported greater recruiting difficulty during July 2012.

“New-hire compensation in July proved mixed—on an annual basis the net increase rose slightly in manufacturing while it fell in services, said Schramm.

Highlights of SHRM LINE year-over-year findings:

Employment Expectations



In August, the hiring rate will rise modestly in both sectors compared with a year ago.

+5.0 points

+9.4 points

Recruiting Difficulty

In July, recruiting difficulty rose slightly in both sectors compared with a year ago.

+1.2 points

+4.3 points

New-Hire Compensation

In July, the rate of increase for new-hire compensation rose in manufacturing and fell in services compared with a year ago.

+1.9 points

-6.1 points

Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment

To read the full SHRM LINE Report, visit: 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.


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 and follow us on Twitter at


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