SHRM Report: Hiring Up in September, But Economy Shows Signs of Slowing

Sep 3, 2010

Alexandria, Va. Private-sector hiring in manufacturing and services will inch up in September for the 11th straight month, and layoffs will remain low, according to a monthly survey of human resource professionals at more than 1,000 companies across the country.

The findings are detailed in the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®) Report, the only national employment index of HR professionals’ month-ahead hiring expectations.

LINE shows year-over-year layoffs for the month of September will reach a four-year low in the manufacturing sector — 14.6 percent of HR professionals expect their companies to cut staff.In the service sector, year-over-year September layoffs are expected to reach a near four-year low with 7.8 percent of HR professionals reporting staff cuts.

“Hiring in general has been slowing down in recent months, a trend that follows the economy at large,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. “New-hire wages and benefits are staying fairly flat, possibly a sign new employees are grateful for a job in a tough labor market.”

The LINE Report forecasts that the manufacturing hiring index is expected to rise by 24.2 points and the service sector hiring index is expected to rise by 14.6 points in September compared with a year ago.

The report offers both a picture of potential hiring in the month ahead and an examination of compensation, recruiting and hiring data from the previous month.

The manufacturing and service sectors kept new-hire compensation relatively flat in August. A net total of 1.7 percent of service-sector employers raised new-hire compensation, as did 5.4 percent of manufacturing companies.

Although increases were small, August marks the seventh consecutive month compensation packages rose for new employees.

The LINE Employment Report examines four key areas: employers’ hiring expectations, new-hire compensation, difficulty in recruiting top-level talent and job vacancies. It is based on a monthly survey of human resource professionals at 500 manufacturing and 500 private service-sector companies. Together, these two sectors comprise more than 90 percent of America’s private sector employment.

Highlights of year-over-year findings include:

Employment Expectations



In September, for the 11th straight month, hiring will increase in manufacturing and services on an annual basis.

+24.2 points

+14.6 points

Recruiting Difficulty

In August, the index for recruiting difficulty rose moderately in both sectors compared with a year ago.

+12.9 points

+6.5 points

New-Hire Compensation

+5.6 points

+3.2 points

The rate of increase for new-hire compensation in August rose on an annual basis in both sectors.

Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment

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

MEDIA: 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 Follow us on Twitter.


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