SHRM Report: October 2009 Modest Hiring Expected to Bring More Jobs than Layoffs

Oct 2, 2009

SHRM Report: October 2009 Modest Hiring Expected to Bring More Jobs than Layoffs

LINE Report details anticipated hiring in manufacturing and service sectors

Alexandria, Va.  Human resource managers expect manufacturing and service sector hiring to improve in October, marking the fourth consecutive month that job additions will outpace layoffs in both sectors, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) LINE® Employment Report.

The good news is found in the month-to-month numbers while the year-over-year numbers show that hiring will remain down compared to this time last year — 2.5 percent in the manufacturing sector and 6.4 percent in the service sector.

A closer look at the manufacturing sector shows that a net total 17.9 percent of companies will add jobs this month, marking the highest net gain for manufacturing hiring since October 2008. Specifically, 33.3 percent of HR professionals surveyed said their company will increase staffing while 15.4 percent will cut jobs.

The service sector shows that a net total of 13.4 percent of companies will add jobs in October — 32.5 percent will hire workers while 19.1 percent will reduce staffing levels. The number marks the sixth straight month that the service sector hiring rate will surpass this sector’s layoff rate.

“Though the labor market remains weak, the pace of layoffs does appear to have slowed and job seekers may find increased opportunities in both the manufacturing and service sectors during October,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. “Recruiting difficulty and new-hire compensation rates however remain down, indicating that this is still a very tough market for job seekers.”

The findings are detailed in the October 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 September shows more companies increasing new-hire salaries and benefits than decreasing. LINE data show that 6.9 percent of surveyed HR professionals said their company increased compensation compared with 1.3 percent who reported decreases a net total of 5.6 percent.

The year-over-year number, however, did not improve in September 2008, a net total of 10.5 percent of companies increased compensation for new hires.

In the manufacturing sector, a net total of negative 0.3 percent of HR respondents said their company decreased new-hire compensation in September 2009. A closer look shows that 3.2 percent increased compensation packages while 3.5 percent decreased compensation. The net total is the lowest for September in the report’s five-year history tracking the manufacturing sector.

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) – September numbers show a net total of 10.7 percent of HR professionals reported increases in exempt jobs available. (Specifically, 19.3 percent reported increases while 8.6 reported decreases.)
  • Exempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 0.4 percent of firms reported an increase in exempt job vacancies in September. (Specifically, 10.9 percent reported an increase while 10.5 percent reported a decrease.)
  • Nonexempt vacancies (manufacturing sector) – September numbers show a net total of 8.7 percent of HR managers reported an increase in their company’s nonexempt employment vacancy rate. (Specifically, 20.5 reported increases while 11.8 reported decreases.)
  • Nonexempt vacancies (service sector) – A net total of 6.9 percent reported an increase in hourly job vacancies in September. (Specifically, 24.3 percent reported an increase while 17.4 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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