Two SHRM Reports: April 2012 Hiring Holds Steady as Confidence Grows

Apr 5, 2012

Alexandria, Va. – April 5, 2012 – Hiring will continue and optimism will grow in the U.S. jobs market according to data from two reports released this week by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The SHRM LINE ReportLeading Indicators of National Employment—for April 2012 shows a net 43.3 percent of manufacturers will add jobs as will a net 20.1 percent of service-sector companies.

The positive net numbers are a result of far more employers planning to hire than layoff. In the manufacturing sector, 50.3 percent of employers will hire workers and 7 percent will cut jobs. In the service sector, 33 percent of employers will add workers to their payrolls while 12.9 percent will reduce staff.

Though the numbers show a bright spot, they nonetheless lag on an annual basis. Comparing April 2012 with April 2011, manufacturing sector employment will drop 5.2 points and service-sector hiring will fall 17.5 points.

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.

The report shows that during March 2012, recruiting difficulty rose 8.1 points in the manufacturing sector and 4.8 points in the service sector compared with March 2011.

Year-over-year comparisons show new-hire compensation also rose slightly, during March, by 2.6 points in the manufacturing sector and 5.9 points in the service sector.

“If employment expectations and new-hire compensation continue to improve, HR professionals may need to prepare for increased turnover as employees begin to seek out new career opportunities,” said Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, and manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.

The positive outlook is likely to continue according to HR professionals surveyed in the Jobs Outlook Survey Report, or SHRM JOS. The JOS, released twice a year, looks at optimism and pessimism for hiring in the quarter ahead.

Roughly six in 10—58 percent—human resource professionals have some level of confidence in the U.S. job market for the second quarter of 2012. A breakdown shows that 10 percent are “very optimistic” and 48 percent are “somewhat optimistic” in anticipating job growth.

The SHRM JOS Report surveyed 336 randomly selected HR professionals from SHRM’s membership.

The SHRM LINE Report surveyed HR executives in more than 500 manufacturing and 500 service-sector firms.

To read the reports, visit:

Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

Follow SHRM news announcements and more on Twitter @SHRMPress.


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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