SHRM March Jobs Poll Something to Smile About

March 28, 2006 ( - The latest picture from a regular hiring survey in the manufacturing and service sectors came up rosy for March.

A news release said the latest data collected for the Leading Indicator of National Employment (LINE), a collaborative effort between the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, showed that both sectors were expanding in March. Data indicates April employment growth for both sectors to be even greater than March, according to the announcement.

While both sectors are subject to seasonal variations, the announcement said that manufacturing growth is stronger than this time last year and, while overall service sector employment dipped slightly in March, total vacancies and employment expectations rose sharply. The jump in vacant positions was for exempt, or salaried, workers. Nearly 58% of employers have plans to hire in the coming 30 days.

Overall manufacturing employment continues to expand, and nearly 58% of respondents plan to recruit employees in the coming 30 days; this is the highest level for the employment expectations index since February 2004, the announcement said.

This demand for manufacturing employees is increasing the number of open positions that employers are already unable to fill with skilled workers, the news release said. The number of unfilled openings is increasing among both exempt and nonexempt positions. This is seen in LINE’s recruitment difficulty index, which is also at its highest level in over two years.

The SHRM/Rutgers LINE data are collected through a survey of human resource executives at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 service sector firms. More information is here .