SHRM Report: April 2010 Hiring To Rise, New Hire Compensation Inching Up

Apr 2, 2010

SHRM Report: April 2010 Hiring To Rise, New Hire Compensation Inching Up

Alexandria, Va. A monthly survey of human resource (HR) professionals at more than 1,000 companies across the country shows April 2010 hiring is expected to rise, compared with one year ago. 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 52.4 points expected for manufacturing hiring during April, and 42.9 points for service sector hiring.

“The good news is that for six months in a row we’ve seen an increase in year-over-year hiring expectations,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. “However, the rate of job loss during the recession was so high that it could take years of sustained job growth to bring unemployment rates down to pre-recession levels.”

The manufacturing sector year-over-year numbers show that more employers plan to hire in April 2010 than they did during April 2009. A net of 37.9 percent of surveyed companies plan to hire this month compared with the net of 14.5 percent that laid off workers one year ago.

In the service sector, year-over-year numbers show a net of 37.4 percent of companies will add jobs in April of this year compared with the net of 5.5 percent that conducted layoffs a year ago.

April 2010 marks the 10th straight month that more companies will hire rather than cut jobs in manufacturing, and the 12th consecutive month for such in the service sector.

The April 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 packages inched up for second consecutive month:

The new-hire compensation index reports previous month data. The current report shows that in March 2010, more employers increased new-hire compensation than reduced, marking the second straight month of growth.

In the manufacturing sector, 2.8 percent of employers increased new hire salaries and benefits while 1.7 percent decreased for a net total of 1.1 percent.

In the service sector, 2.3 percent of employers increased compensation packages while 1.9 reduced compensation packages for a net total of 0.4 percent.

“After a long stretch of decline and for the second month in a row, the LINE new-hire compensation index also increased on an annual basis in both the manufacturing and service sectors,” Schramm said. “More employers also reported increased difficulty filling key positions in March compared to the same month one year ago.”

Salaried job openings, trends:

  • Exempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – March 2010 findingsshow a net total of11.9 percent of HR professionals reported increases in exempt, primarily salaried, jobs available. (Specifically, 22.8 percent reported increases while 10.9 reported decreases.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the manufacturing sector exempt vacancies represent a 20.2 point increase from March 2009, and the eighth consecutive month that exempt vacancies are higher compared to same month, previous year.
  • Exempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 12 percent of firms reported an increase in exempt job vacancies in March 2010. (Specifically, 21 percent reported increases while 9 percent reported decreases.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the service sector exempt vacancies represent a 23.3 point increase from March 2009. The service sector, like the manufacturing sector, also experienced an eighth straight month during which exempt vacancies were higher compared to the previous year.

Hourly jobs openings, trends:

  • Nonexempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – March 2010 numbers show a net total of 21.3 percent of HR managers reported an increase in their company’s nonexempt, or hourly, employment vacancy rate. (Specifically, 30.4 percent reported increases while 9.1 percent reported decreases.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the nonexempt employment vacancy rate for manufacturing jobs represents a 30.5 point increase from one year ago.
  • Nonexempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 23.3 percent reported an increase in hourly job vacancies in March. (Specifically, 32.7 percent reported an increase while 9.4 percent reported a decrease.)
  • Examined year-over-year, the March 2010 service sector nonexempt employment vacancy rate marks a 31.7 point increase from March 2009.

LINE findings highlight those in the recent SHRM post-recession poll:

The 2010 April LINE report’s findings of a slowly improving economy were expected given the post-recession poll SHRM released earlier this week that showed companies — in eight major industries — are in various stages of recovery. When HR professionals were asked if their company’s overall financial health, in relation to the U.S. and global recession, is declining or recovering compared to 12 months ago, they responded as follows:

  • Seven percent said – “in a significant recovery”;
  • 35 percent said – “in a mild recovery”;
  • 25 percent said – “no change compared with 12 months ago;
  • 24 percent said – “in a mild decline”; and
  • Nine percent said – “in a significant decline”

The industries highlighted include construction, the federal government, finance, health, state and local government, manufacturing, professional services, and high tech.

To read the complete post-recession poll, visit:

To read LINE, visit:

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 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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