January Employment Growth Remains Stable For Manufacturing

Hiring Expectations Rise Sharply for Manufacturers

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Overall employment growth remained stable among manufacturers in January, while the service sector growth weakened, due largely to cuts in hourly positions. Employment fell for both sectors in January, but more employers reported plans to actively recruit skilled workers in the next month. These findings are reported today in the January Leading Indicator of National Employment (LINE(TM)), a collaborative effort between the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations.

LINE is an economic indicator that identifies early economic trends and changes in the national job market by surveying human resource (HR) executives at manufacturing and service sector firms. It reports on five employment measures, three of which are unique to LINE. An index value above 50 indicates employment is growing, while an index below 50 shows that employment is contracting. For a full copy of the report and a detailed description of each component, go to http://www.shrm.org/LINE.


January is typically a weak month for manufacturing employment. There was, however, a sharp increase in the number of vacant positions for which employers were actively recruiting, which may be due to seasonal fluctuations.

Respondents report that it remains relatively difficult to recruit skilled workers, and at this point in the economic recovery, there is no longer a large pool of qualified, skilled job seekers eager to take their open positions. There was a substantial increase in the number of employers who planned to increase their employment headcount in the coming month.

                      SHRM/Rutgers LINE -- MANUFACTURING

                              Jan. 05     Nov. 05     Dec. 05     Jan. 06
    SHRM/Rutgers LINE          57.8        61.0        56.3        57.7
    Total Employment           55.8        61.8        55.0        54.9
    Total Vacancies            63.7        59.4        56.8        61.5
    Recruiting difficulties    56.0        60.8        59.3        58.5
    New hire compensation      54.5        55.6        55.7        56.5
    Employment expectations    69.3        63.2        60.6        70.7


Private service sector employment often declines more in January than in any other month of the year. The largest service sector cutbacks were among hourly non-managerial employees. Among salaried managers and professionals, employment fell, but the overall number of exempt vacant positions actually increased.

Recruiting difficulty and new hire compensation remained relatively unchanged, indicating that there was little pressure for HR executives to increase wages in order to recruit skilled workers. Employment expectations for the upcoming 30 days improved from December with an increase in the percentage of employers who planned to hire for new positions in the coming month.

                     SHRM/Rutgers LINE -- SERVICE SECTOR

                              Jan. 05     Nov. 05     Dec. 05     Jan. 06
    SHRM/Rutgers LINE             -        63.1        61.0        54.4
    Total Employment              -        63.9        61.7        51.3
    Total Vacancies               -        60.3        59.3        58.7
    Recruiting Difficulties       -        59.9        58.5        54.0
    New hire compensation         -        56.8        56.1        55.7
    Employment expectations       -        70.9        65.8        67.5

The SHRM/Rutgers LINE data are collected through a survey of human resource executives at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 service sector firms. The SHRM/Rutgers LINE is a weighted average of five component indexes- employment, vacancies, recruiting difficulty, new hire compensation and employment expectations. All data are reported using diffusion indexes. A copy of the January report and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.shrm.org/LINE.

The indicator is released at 8:30 am ET on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

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 http://www.shrm.org .

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.

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: http://www.shrm.org/

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