August marks the highest level of hiring in the manufacturing industry since October 2008 according to a survey of Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The SHRM surveyed 1000 of its members between early and late July and the manufacturing industry saw a net increase of 11 percent in employment expectations while the service industry expectations had a net increase of 16.9 percent.  While these numbers remain down from the same time last year, they represent the second consecutive month of positive growth in both industries.

The spike in companies seeking employees is attributable to a growing sense of stability in HR departments according to Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. "The most basic reason [for the net increases] is more organizations feel they are in a position to hire," she says.

The hiring trends in the manufacturing sector tend to respond to changes in the economy faster and recover slower than those in the service sector, says Schramm. However, hiring trends in all fields tends to lag behind product markets in the path to recovery.  The "employment market tends to be the last indicator in a recession to show improvement," she says.

The SHRM, an Alexandria, Virginia-based association of HR professionals, conducts monthly employment surveys in the manufacturing and service sectors. "The labor market is slowly improving but obviously its still not where it needs to be," Schramm says.