SHRM Survey: 70 Percent of HR Professionals Pessimistic About U.S. Job Market

Apr 7, 2009
LIKE SAVE PRINT
Reuse Permissions

SHRM Survey: 70 Percent of HR Professionals Pessimistic About U.S. Job Market in Second Quarter

Alexandria, Va.– More than two-thirds of HR professionals (70 percent) are pessimistic about job growth and anticipate job losses during the second quarter of 2009, a slight decrease from the first quarter, according to the Labor Market Outlook (LMO) survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Nearly 70 percent also plan to eliminate jobs or keep payrolls flat. Specifically, 52 percent of HR professionals will maintain staffing levels while 17 percent will cut jobs. The good news is that the job cuts will be balanced by the 18 percent who plan to hire. Another 13 percent, however, are unsure how their company will respond to second-quarter hiring given the economic crisis.

“The numbers for hiring remain low but do mark a quarter-to-quarter improvement,” said Steve Williams, director of research at SHRM. “HR professionals anticipate fewer job cuts in the second quarter and more report a recruiting holding pattern as the recession plays out on their bottom line.”

In the first quarter of 2009, 84 percent of HR respondents either cut jobs or kept payrolls flat (39 percent conducted layoffs and 45 percent held steady). Managers, professionals, hourly service workers, laborers, and skilled manual workers remain the groups most affected by layoffs, while senior executives are the least affected.

Additional survey highlights include:

  • Managers and professionals (54 percent) will be most affected by second quarter layoffs, followed by hourly service workers (46 percent), skilled manual workers (38 percent), and laborers/ unskilled manual workers (29 percent). Senior executives (10 percent) and contract/ temporary employees (15 percent) will be the least affected by layoffs.

  • Nonprofit organizations (24 percent) and privately owned for-profit organizations (22 percent) are more likely to increase staff in the second quarter of 2009.

  • In the first quarter of 2009, more publicly owned for-profit (51 percent) and privately owned for-profit organizations (44 percent) decreased staffing levels than government agencies (26 percent) and nonprofits (25 percent).

  • Nearly twice as many large organizations (30 percent) plan to decrease staff in the second quarter than medium (16 percent) or small organizations (15 percent). The survey defines large organizations as those with more than 500 employees. Medium-size companies are those with 100 to 499 employees while small employers include fewer than 100 workers.

  • More small organizations (24 percent) plan to increase staff in the second quarter than medium (23 percent) and large (15 percent) organizations.
Labor Market Outlook examines hiring and recruiting trends based on a quarterly survey of more than 465 HR professionals managing company staffing issues from a broad range of public and private entities.

The LMO is part of a series of economy-related surveys conducted by SHRM Research. Also released today from SHRM is the poll, “Financial Challenges to the U.S. & Global Economy and its Impact on Organizations.”

Reporters may view the complete SHRM LMO at: http://www.shrm.org/Research/MonthlyEmploymentIndices/Pages/default.aspx

Reporters may read additional SHRM surveys at: http://www.shrm.org/surveys.

###

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 www.shrm.org.

LIKE SAVE PRINT
Reuse Permissions

SEMINARS

HR Education in a City Near You

Find a Seminar

Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You

SPONSOR OFFERS

Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies

Search & Connect