Overall U.S. employment growth continued to expand in March for both the manufacturing, and service sectors and hiring expectations for the next 30 days remain strong, as reported in March’s 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.March.The employment increase is attributed to typical seasonal hiring, however, the manufacturing growth is stronger than this time last year, and data indicates April employment growth for both sectors to be even greater than March. 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. This demand for manufacturing employees is increasing the number of open positions that employers are already unable to fill with skilled workers. 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.
Overall service sector employment dipped slightly in March, while total vacancies and employment expectations rose sharply. The jump in vacant positions was for exempt, or salaried, workers. In addition, nearly 58% of employers have plans to hire in the coming 30 days. Employers are finding it increasingly difficulty to recruit skilled workers; however, there appears to be little pressure yet to increase new-hire compensation.