A recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management did not provide a particularly rosy outlook for job growth. According to the Labor Market Outlook survey, 70% of human-resources professionals are pessimistic about job growth and anticipate job losses during second quarter 2009, a slight decrease from the first quarter.
Nearly 70% of those surveyed also plan to eliminate jobs or keep payrolls flat. Specifically, 52% of human-resources professionals will maintain staffing levels while 17% will cut jobs.
The good news is that the job cuts will be balanced by the 18% who plan to hire. Another 13%, however, are unsure how their company will respond to second-quarter hiring given the economic crisis.
“The numbers for hiring remain low but do mark a quarter-to-quarter improvement,” said Steve Williams, director of research, SHRM. “HR professionals anticipate fewer job cuts in the second quarter and more report a recruiting holding pattern as the recession plays out on their bottom line.”
In first quarter 2009, 84% of human-resources respondents either cut jobs or kept payrolls flat (39% conducted layoffs and 45% held steady). Managers, professionals, hourly service workers, laborers, and skilled manual workers remain the groups most affected by layoffs, while senior executives are the least affected.
Additional survey results showed that managers and professionals (54%) will be most affected by second-quarter layoffs, followed by hourly service workers (46%), skilled manual workers (38%), and laborers/unskilled manual workers (29%). Senior executives (10%) and contract/temporary employees (15%) will be the least affected by layoffs.
Nearly twice as many large organizations (30%) plan to decrease staff in the second quarter than medium (16%) or small organizations (15%). The survey defines large organizations as those with more than 500 employees. Medium-size companies are those with 100 to 499 employees, while small employers include fewer than 100 workers.
More small organizations (24%) plan to increase staff in the second quarter than medium (23%) and large (15%) organizations.
The Labor Market Outlook examines hiring and recruiting trends based on a quarterly survey of more than 465 human-resources professionals managing company staffing issues from a broad range of public and private entities.