January 25, 2005
Although employment growth slowed in January, there is a substantial jump from December in the percentage of manufacturers planning to hire in the upcoming 30 days, according to the January Leading Indicator of National Employment (LINE), a monthly employment index jointly produced by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Rutgers University. January growth slowed despite open positions in manufacturing, as the hiring rate was unable to keep pace with the demand for new workers.
While job growth has slowed since July 2004, most respondents indicated that manufacturing employment may grow substantially in February. In addition, 40 percent of responding firms reported increases in the number of job vacancies they are actively recruiting to fill.
A slow hiring process may not be the only reason for a decrease in employment numbers. Other possible factors include ongoing concerns about the fragility of the economic recovers, which may be causing firms to delay creating new positions or filling positions currently open. Also, the inability to recruit workers with the appropriate skills may be slowing the pace at which firms are able to fill the existing vacancies.