Manufacturing and Service Sectors Say Jobs Harder To Fill

April 25, 2006 ( - More than half of employers from the manufacturing and service sectors say they plan to make more hires in May, according to a monthly survey of HR executives in the two sectors.

The demand for workers is slowly driving up wages, with HR executives predicting recruiting efforts to remain strong in May, according to the April reports from the Leading Indicator of National Employment (LINE), a collaborative effort by the Society for Human Resource Management andRutgers University.

Overall manufacturing employment continued its expansion with 48.4% of employers adding staff in April, with a substantial increase among exempt employees. The index for job vacancies in manufacturing rose to 69.6 in April – the highest level this index has reached in 27 months.

Just over half (50.2%) of manufacturing firms report an increase in the number of open positions that they have been unable to fill, and pressure to fill these vacancies.

Overall employment for the service sector improved in April, but HR executives say increased difficulty in recruiting skilled workers led to increased compensation for new hires. Nearly 57% of service sector employers plan to increases the number of hires in May.