SHRM Report: September Hiring to Decrease and Layoffs Will Inch Up

Sep 1, 2011

SHRM Report: September Hiring to Decrease and Layoffs Will Inch Up

Alexandria, Va. - A monthly survey of HR professionals at more than 1,000 companies across the U.S. shows hiring during September 2011 will fall compared to one year ago, and layoffs will inch up.

The snapshot of national hiring trends is featured in the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®) Report. LINE is the only national employment index capturing HR professionals’ month-ahead hiring expectations.

Service-sector hiring will decrease on a year-over-year basis by a net of 15.3 points. A look back shows that a net of 37.4 percent of companies added jobs during September 2010 compared with a net of 22.1 percent who plan to hire this month.

In the manufacturing sector, September 2011 hiring is expected to drop by a net of 9.6 points on an annual basis. A closer look shows that a net of 28.4 percent of manufacturing companies will hire during September 2011 compared with a net of 38 percent that hired one year ago.

The September LINE Report also shows that layoffs will rise slightly.

Nearly one-third (32 percent) of service-sector employers will hire in September while 9.9 percent plan to cut jobs. In September 2010, 45.2 percent of service-sector employers planned to hire while 7.8 percent planned to decrease jobs.

More than four in 10 manufacturers (44.2 percent) plan to hire this month, while 15.8 percent will likely to cut jobs. The 2011 hiring expectations for September are less positive that September 2010 when more companies reported plans to hire (52.6 percent) and fewer planned to eliminate jobs (14.6 percent).

The LINE Report also examines new-hire compensation trends from the previous month. The September 2011 report shows that during August 2011 more companies increased rather than decreased new-hire compensation when compared to last year.

The LINE Report also includes a recruiting difficulty index. The September report looks back one month to August and shows employers in both the manufacturing and service sectors reported greater difficulty with recruiting job candidates for key jobs compared to one year ago.

Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, and SHRM’s manager of workplace trends and forecasting summarized the trends: “Despite the decline in the hiring outlook, HR professionals in both sectors are reporting increased difficulty with recruiting candidates for their key vacancies. This suggests that despite the large number of unemployed jobseekers, there are potentially growing shortages in certain kinds of high-skilled jobs.”

Released the first Thursday of each month, the LINE Report provides a snapshot of anticipated hiring for the month ahead and also examines data from the previous month.

The LINE Employment Report examines four key areas: employers’ hiring expectations, new-hire compensation, difficulty in recruiting top-level talent and job vacancies. The LINE Report 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 make up more than 90 percent of America’s private-sector employment.

Highlights of SHRM LINE year-over-year findings:

Employment Expectations



In September, the hiring rate will decline on an annual basis in the manufacturing and service sectors.

-9.6 points

-15.3 points

Recruiting Difficulty

In August, the index for recruiting difficulty rose sharply in the manufacturing and service sectors compared with a year ago.

+15.6 points

+14.1 points

New-Hire Compensation

The rate of increase for new-hire compensation in August rose in both sectors compared with a year ago.

+3.1 points

+9.2 points

Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment

To read the 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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