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Manufacturing Is The Most Challenging And Fastest Growing US Job Market

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"Yawn," you say.  Why does one even care about these things?  Forecasting your business and hiring are some of the most important and often overlooked pieces to having a successful business.  It is especially important to have a pulse on what your competition is doing and what places job seekers and your employees are applying for jobs.  Especially when 82% of your workforce this year is actively looking for work.

The economy is improving and jobs are being created except not in the places and industries you might expect. According to the just released Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the manufacturing and service industries are the most challenging for human resources professionals and recruiters looking to add positions at their companies as of July 2012.

In July, recruiting difficulty rose slightly in both sectors compared with a year ago with Manufacturing +1.2 points and Service +4.3 points. This same report shares insights that these two sectors will continue to grow as experts predict that August 2012 hiring will increase in Manufacturing by +5.0 points and Service +9.4 points compared to this same time a year ago.

That's great news for the economy, but what does that really mean? Consumers are spending more with the demand for consumer products and manufacturing increasing, and companies are keeping their production in house versus outside the United States. An increase in the service sector hiring also points to Americans spending more on retail, hospitality, and restaurant services. This is a positive indicator for the economy. They are shopping, movie-watching, and eating out as we enter retail's fall push and back to school.

Hiring difficulty or challenges in these two segments are common and happen for a number of reasons.  Both industries historically have very high employee turnover with job seekers and employees quickly entering and exiting the marketplace.  These same job openings are often entry-level positions requiring little previous work history, certifications, or education.  These same industries likely already experience hiring challenges even when they are not growing.  Add in the increase of demand and forecasted sales and production, and finding qualified, engaged, and excited job seekers to fill these roles is a growing concern for hiring managers.

"HR professionals in the manufacturing and services sectors also reported a slight year-over-year increase in recruiting difficulty for their jobs of most strategic importance," said Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, and manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. "The rise in the employment expectations and recruiting difficulty indices are faint but positive signs nonetheless."

These faint yet positive signs are welcome as we the fall school season and holiday shopping sets to begin. CEOs and human resource professionals will begin to evaluate their 2013 business and staffing plans and these type of positive indicators although small may give businesses the nudge they need to continue to grow and add jobs this fall and into 2013.

This is also important news for job seekers who are looking to target specific industries as they change jobs, enter, or re-enter the workforce.  Are you experiencing an increase in hiring in your industry or at the office?  What strategies are you using to fill these competitive or high turnover positions?