Manufacturing Job Growth Slowed In July, But Key Vacancies Remain Difficult To Fill

Recruiting Difficulty Index Reaches Highest Level Since LINE was Commissioned

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Although employment growth was slower for manufacturing firms this month than last, employers are have more difficulty finding skilled applicants to fill key positions, according to new numbers from the Leading Indicator of National Employment (LINE(TM)), released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations.

Despite recruiting difficulties for key jobs, LINE's new numbers indicate that salaries manufacturing firms paid new hires in July were essentially unchanged from a year ago, suggesting that the continuing difficulty employers face in filling critical positions has not led to widespread wage inflation.

LINE reports on five employment measures, two of which are released before other similar measures and three of which are new and unique. An index value above 50 indicates employment is growing, while an index below 50 shows that employment is contracting.

                  SHRM/Rutgers LINE and Its Five Components

                       July   February  March   April   May   June  July
                       2004     2005     2005    2005   2005  2005  2005

     LINE              64.3     60.5     60.1    59.9   60.8  63.7  61.8
     employment        65.3     60.4     58.7    57.7   59.1  64.0  61.2
     vacancies         63.9     65.3     66.6    67.6   64.4  64.6  64.8
     difficulty        60.3     53.0     57.1    59.8   58.9  59.4  60.7
    New hire
     compensation      55.3     54.2     53.7    54.5   56.6  56.7  54.7
     expectations      71.6     70.3     71.4    70.7   73.2  72.1  70.5

The July 2005 index is well below the July 2004 level. The implication is that July 2005 was a less expansionary month than July 2004. Last month's employment index suggested that manufacturing job growth in June would be greater than in May. The June numbers that the BLS released on July 8th confirmed that, the manufacturing sector added 76,000 jobs in June, compared with 46,000 in May.

A collaboration between the Society for Human Resource Management and the Rutgers University, LINE identifies early economic trends and changes in the national job market by surveying human resource (HR) professionals at manufacturing firms. LINE's monthly numbers are released on the last Tuesday of the month in question. To date, LINE has correlated closely with Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs numbers.

For a full copy of the report and a detailed description of each component, go to .

The SHRM/Rutgers LINE has been collecting data since February 2004 and is functioning as a valuable leading indicator of economic and labor market conditions. The July SHRM/Rutgers LINE survey was provided to HR professionals at over 500 manufacturing firms.

The indicator is released at 8:30 am ET on the fourth Tuesday of each month. A copy of the July report and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at .

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world's largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 200,000 individual members, the Society's mission is both to serve human resource management professionals and to advance the profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM currently has more than 500 affiliated chapters within the United States and members in more than 100 countries. Visit SHRM Online at .

The School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is a leading center of scholarly and applied research on human resource management issues. The school creates and disseminates knowledge that fosters a better understanding of the nature of employment and work in modern society. The Rutgers Master of Human Resource Management degree is one of the top human resource management programs in the nation.

*** Members of the media are encouraged to contact SHRM media affairs at 703-535-6043 for information, interviews with investigators, and comments on LINE data. ***

CONTACT: Frank Scanlan, +1-703-535-6043, Email Contact, Jen Jorgensen,
+1-703-535-6356, Email Contact, Will Gray, +1-703-535-6012,
Email Contact, all of The Society for Human Resource Management

Web site:

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