Steady Hiring, Few Layoffs Expected in November

By Theresa Minton-Eversole Oct 31, 2013

In November the pace of hiring in manufacturing and services will rise compared with a year ago, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) survey for November 2013.

Hiring expectations look fairly steady, as our survey shows the highest net hiring rates for November in both sectors in four years,” said Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, manager of SHRM’s workforce trends and forecasting, in comments to SHRM Online.

A net of 40.4 percent of manufacturers and a net of 34.1 percent of service-sector companies will add jobs in November, based on SHRM’s monthly LINE survey of private-sector human resource professionals at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 service-sector companies. The LINE report examines employers’ hiring expectations, new-hire compensation, difficulties in recruiting top-level talent, and job vacancies.

Employment Expectations



In November the hiring rate will increase in manufacturing and services compared with a year ago.



Recruiting Difficulty

In October recruiting difficulty rose modestly in manufacturing and services over a year ago.



New-Hire Compensation

In October the rate of increase for new-hire compensation was unchanged in manufacturing and rose slightly in services compared with 2012’s figures.



Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE),

Employment Expectations

In November, for the 16th consecutive month, the hiring rate will rise in services compared with a year ago. A net of 34.1 percent of service-sector companies will expand payrolls in November (41.8 percent will hire; 7.7 percent will cut jobs), increasing the index by 0.4 point compared with November 2012.

Hiring will also pick up in the manufacturing sector, with a net of 40.4 percent of manufacturers reporting they will add jobs in November (49 percent will hire; 8.6 percent will cut jobs). The sector’s hiring index will increase by 6.8 points over a year ago.

Layoff rates in both sectors will decline from 2012, according to LINE results.

LINE data compare favorably with reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with the employment-expectations index providing an early indication of the BLS Employment Situation report findings, which cover the same period but are released approximately one month later.

Exempt, Nonexempt Vacancies

Job vacancies for October saw almost no change in either sector compared with a year ago, said Schramm.

In the manufacturing sector a net total of 17.3 percent of respondents reported increases in exempt vacancies in October (26.5 percent reported increases; 9.2 percent reported decreases). This number represents a 1.2-point decline from October 2012. In the service sector a net total of 12.9 percent of respondents reported more exempt vacancies in October (21.7 percent reported increases; 8.8 percent reported decreases), which is unchanged from last October.

Hourly job openings edged up in both sectors compared with a year ago, however.

A net total of 20.6 percent of manufacturing respondents reported that nonexempt vacancies rose in October (31.2 percent reported increases; 10.6 percent, decreases), marking a 0.8-point increase from October 2012. For nonexempt service positions, a net total of 18.8 percent of respondents reported a greater number of openings in October (29.1 percent reported increases; 10.3 percent, decreases), representing a 1.4-point increase from a year ago.

Recruiting Difficulty

A net of 18 percent of manufacturing respondents had a tougher time with recruiting in October, an increase of 6.1 points from October 2012. Meanwhile, a net of 17.4 percent of service-sector HR professionals found it more challenging to recruit candidates that month, up 5.9 points from a year ago.

“Improvements in employment conditions could be leading to increased recruiting difficulty,” said Schramm, noting that this index also reached four-year highs in both sectors for the month of October. “Over the coming months economists will be keeping an eye on seasonal hiring and how many of these jobs are converted into full-time positions.”

According to a CareerBuilder survey released Oct. 16, retailers will be stocking up on additional staff this holiday season. Thirty-nine percent of retail hiring managers reported that they plan to hire seasonal workers this year, up from 36 percent last year. Employers in information technology (18 percent), leisure and hospitality (16 percent) and financial services (16 percent) also intend to hire seasonal staff.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive from Aug. 13 to Sept. 6, 2013, and included a representative sample of 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

“Seasonal employment is expected to be somewhat better than last year and can lead to more than just extra income for workers,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, in a press statement about the survey. “Nearly half of U.S. employers [49 percent] who are hiring seasonal workers plan to transition some into full-time, permanent staff. This is up 10 percentage points over last year and indicative of a growing trend where employers are test-driving candidates before committing to a long-term hire.”

New-Hire Compensation

The LINE new-hire compensation index shows that most organizations are still keeping compensation for new employees flat, said Schramm. This is consistent with recent BLS findings on real average hourly earnings, which rose just 0.7 percent in August 2013 compared with August 2012.

In the manufacturing sector a net total of 5.3 percent of respondents reported increasing new-hire compensation in October, unchanged from a year earlier. In the service sector a net total of 8.5 percent of companies increased new-hire compensation in October, representing a 1.5-point increase from 2012.

Theresa Minton-Eversoleis an online editor/manager for SHRM.

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