SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE)

Aug 3, 2017
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On July 20th 2017, we announced that after almost 15 years, SHRM will be retiring LINE® effective August 4, 2017.  We're proud of the product we built, but even more so, we're grateful for the community of HR professionals like yourself that supported LINE® and helped it be successful over the years.

As the HR profession grows and adapts to a changing world, so too is SHRM's research focus. While it is sad to say goodbye to LINE®, we are eager to start working on identifying and understanding evidenced-based human capital trends in the HR profession in an effort to better serve the global SHRM membership.

We want to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone. Toward that end, the LINE survey past reports webpage will remain available through the end of 2017.

As always, thank you for sharing your time and expertise with us. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Evren Esen at Evren.Esen@shrm.org or SHRM.LINE@shrm.org

Sincerely, 

SHRM Research


About the LINE Report | Past Reports | FAQs

August 2017 OverviewManufacturingServices
Employment Expectations: In August, the hiring rate will rise in both manufacturing and services compared with a year ago.
+6.0

+3.6
Recruiting Difficulty: In July, recruiting difficulty increased in manufacturing and services compared with a year ago.

+11.0

+6.8
New-Hire Compensation: In July, the index for new-hire compensation rose in both manufacturing and services compared with a year ago.

 +4.2

+11.1
Source: August 2017 SHRM LINE Report

Employment Expectations     

In August, hiring rates are expected to rise in both sectors compared with a year ago

In August 2017, employment will grow at 60.6 percent of manufacturing firms and decline at 8.0 percent. The resulting net increasing index of 52.71 (60.6 - 8.0) suggests faster employment growth in manufacturing than in August 2016 (46.7).

In August 2017, employment levels will grow at 49.2 percent of service-sector firms and decline at 8.6 percent of firms, producing a net increasing index of 40.5 (49.2 - 8.6), which suggests more robust service-sector employment growth than in August 2016 (36.9). 

The LINE employment expectations index provides an early indication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation report findings. BLS numbers covering the same time period are released approximately one month after the LINE report.

1 Rounded to the nearest decimal place

Between July and August 2017, do you expect your organization's employment headcount to increase, remain the same or decrease?

MANUFACTURING SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing HeadcountPercent Decreasing HeadcountNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
August 201456.3%
6.1%
50.2
August 201556.5%10.1%
46.4
August 201652.7%6.0%
46.7
August 201760.6%
8.0%
52.7


Annual change (percentage points)
+6.0
SERVICE SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing HeadcountPercent Decreasing HeadcountNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
August 201442.2%
6.4%
35.8
August 201550.3%
6.0%
44.3
August 201645.8%8.9%
36.9
August 201749.2%8.6%
40.5


Annual change (percentage points)+3.6

Note: Annual net change is calculated by subtracting the net increase of the same month one year ago from the net increase of the current month.

Source: August 2017 SHRM LINE Report

Recruiting Difficulty     

In July, recruiting difficulty increased compared with a year ago

LINE's recruiting difficulty index measures how difficult it is for firms to recruit candidates to fill the positions of greatest strategic importance to their companies.

Compared with July of last year, in July 2017 the recruiting difficulty index rose by 11.1 points in the manufacturing sector and 6.8 points in the service sector. The LINE new-hire compensation index reported below suggests firms may be responding to this increased recruiting difficulty by increasing starting wages to attract highly qualified individuals to fill key positions.

Compared with June 2017, have labor market conditions during July 2017 made it more or less difficult to recruit highly qualified individuals to fill those positions that are of the greatest strategic importance to your firm?

MANUFACTURING SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing Recruiting DifficultyPercent Decreasing Recruiting DifficultyNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
July 201427.5%2.5%
25.0
July 201537.0%3.1%
33.9
July 201631.7%
1.6%
30.1
July 201743.3%2.2%41.1


Annual change (percentage points)+11.0
SERVICE SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing Recruiting DifficultyPercent Decreasing Recruiting DifficultyNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
July 201423.0%3.4%19.6
July 201532.5%4.6%
27.9
July 201630.8%4.0%26.8
July 2017
36.5%
2.9%33.6


Annual change (percentage points)+6.8

Note: Annual net change is calculated by subtracting the net increase of the same month one year ago from the net increase of the current month.

Source: August 2017 SHRM LINE Report

New-Hire Compensation

In July, new-hire compensation packages were higher than those offered a year ago

In the manufacturing sector, 21.0 percent of firms reported raising new-hire compensation in July 2017 compared with 15.4 percent in July 2016. In the service sector, 25.7 percent of firms reported raising new-hire compensation in July 2017 compared with 15.9 percent in July 2016, with the annual net increase of 11.1 points.

On average, have your new hires in July 2017 received a compensation package (wages plus benefits) that is higher, the same or lower than that received by individuals your firm hired into similar positions during June 2017?

MANUFACTURING SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing New-Hire CompensationPercent Decreasing New-Hire CompensationNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
July 201410.0%1.2%8.8
July 201516.1%
0.8%
15.3
July 201615.4%0.4%
15.0
July 201721.0%1.7%19.2


Annual change (percentage points)+4.2
SERVICE SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing New-Hire CompensationPercent Decreasing New-Hire CompensationNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
July 201413.6%
1.3%
12.3
July 201520.6%1.1%19.5
July 201615.9%1.4%
14.5
July 201725.7%0.1%
25.6


Annual change (percentage points)+11.1

Note: Annual net change is calculated by subtracting the net increase of the same month one year ago from the net increase of the current month.

Source: August 2017 SHRM LINE Report

Vacant Positions in Exempt Employment

In July, the amount of salaried job openings varied compared with a year ago

Vacancies are defined as open positions that employers are actively trying to fill. LINE data cover exempt vacancies, or primarily salaried positions, and nonexempt vacancies, which are mostly hourly jobs. Changes in the number of job vacancies can be one of the earliest indicators of a shift in the balance between labor supply and demand. Typically, exempt employment fluctuates by smaller rates than nonexempt employment during economic downturns and expansions.

In July, a net total of 15.9 percent of manufacturers reported increases in exempt vacancies (25.9 percent reported more vacancies, 10.0 percent reported fewer), up 5.1 points from July 2016. In the service sector, a net total of 6.9 percent of respondents reported increases in exempt vacancies in July (21.3 percent reported more vacancies, 14.3 percent reported fewer), down 4.1 points from July 2016.

Between June 2017 and July 2017, did the number of exempt vacancies at your organization increase, decrease or remain the same?

MANUFACTURING SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing VacanciesPercent Decreasing VacanciesNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
July 201427.5%11.2%
16.3
July 201527.2%
13.6%13.6
July 201621.8%11.0%10.8
July 201725.9%10.0%
15.9


Annual change (percentage points)
+5.1
SERVICE SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing VacanciesPercent Decreasing VacanciesNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
July 201428.6%11.0%17.6
July 201526.8%11.4%15.4
July 201620.6%
9.6%11.0
July 201721.3%14.3%6.9


Annual change (percentage points)-4.1

Note: Annual net change is calculated by subtracting the net increase of the same month one year ago from the net increase of the current month.

Source: August 2017 SHRM LINE Report

Vacant Positions in Nonexempt Employment

In July, hourly vacancies were mixed among sectors compared with a year ago

In contrast to exempt employment, nonexempt employment typically changes by a greater percentage during economic downturns and expansions.

A net total of 26.6 percent of manufacturing respondents reported that nonexempt vacancies rose in​ July (39.6 percent reported more vacancies, 13.0 percent reported fewer), a 2.2 point increase from July 2016. In services, a net total of 20.7 percent of respondents reported an increase in nonexempt vacancies in July (34.5 percent reported more vacancies, 13.8 reported fewer), down 6.6 points from a year ago.
 
HR professionals in both sectors have generally reported increases in job openings within the month of each LINE survey. For every month since September 2009–shortly after the end of the Great Recession–the manufacturing and service sectors have reported a net increase for nonexempt openings. 

Between June 2017 and July 2017, did the number of nonexempt vacancies at your organization increase, decrease or remain the same?

MANUFACTURING SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing VacanciesPercent Decreasing VacanciesNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
July 201436.1%12.3%23.8
July 201539.2%11.1%28.1
July 201635.0%10.6%24.4
July 201739.6%13.0%
26.6


Annual change (percentage points)+2.2
SERVICE SECTOR BY YEAR
Month / YearPercent Increasing VacanciesPercent Decreasing VacanciesNet Increasing (Percentage Points)
July 201434.2%12.6%21.6
July 201535.8%14.4%21.4
July 201637.6%
10.3%27.3
July 201734.5%13.8%20.7


Annual change (percentage points)-6.6

Note: Annual net change is calculated by subtracting the net increase of the same month one year ago from the net increase of the current month.

Source: August 2017 SHRM LINE Report


The LINE Report examines four key areas: employers' hiring expectations, new-hire compensation, difficulty in recruiting top-level talent and job vacancies. It is based on a monthly survey of private-sector human resource professionals at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 service-sector companies. Together, these two sectors employ more than 90 percent of the nation's private-sector workers.


Inquiries
Evren Esen, SHRM-SCP, director, Workforce Analytics, SHRM: Evren.Esen@shrm.org

Karen Wessels, researcher, Workforce Analytics, SHRM: Karen.Wessels@shrm.org

© 2017 Society for Human Resource Management. Permission is granted to copy this work with appropriate attribution to copyright owners. All content is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as a guaranteed outcome. SHRM cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions, or any liability resulting from the use or misuse of any such information.


Need data on what’s really happening in the job market? The SHRM LINE Employment Report covers the service and manufacturing sectors on key areas for recruiting each month. The report includes:

  • The only national employment indicator of hiring expectations for the month ahead–released one month earlier than the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Report covering the same period.
  • The only published index of changes in new-hire compensation.
  • The only published measure of recruiting difficulty of highly qualified candidates for the most critical positions.

Do you have your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP? Earn up to 20 PDCs by using LINE data to advance your organization. Refer to page 10 of the recertification handbook.

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CONTACTS

For questions on LINE® data please contact SHRM Research at (703) 535-6301 or LINE@shrm.org. Members of the media should contact SHRM Media Affairs at (703) 535-6273, (703)-535-6072 or press@shrm.org.




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