Supply Chain and Operations Expected Hiring Up Significantly in 2011

APICS Employment Outlook report forecasts highest net job growth in operations and supply chain management since global recession began

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Chicago — March 9, 2011 — Hiring by Supply Chain and Operations is expected to pick up significantly in 2011, offering the most promising jobs environment for supply chain professionals since the start of the Great Recession, a new report finds.

That positive news came in the fourth quarter 2010 installment of the "Operations Management Employment Outlook" report issued this week by APICS The Association for Operations Management and the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Fourth quarter results show 64 percent of survey respondents with hiring responsibility anticipate engaging new employees within the next 12 months. In 2009, only 48 percent indicated anticipated hiring.

This high level of expected hiring, when combined with a 50 percent decrease in expected layoffs (from 14 percent in 2009 to 7 percent in the fourth quarter report), indicates the highest level of net job growth in the operations and supply chain management professions since the global recession began, according to the report.

"Throughout 2010, we saw incremental improvements in expected hiring in the operations and supply chain management professions," said APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE. "This significant increase in expected hiring and decrease in expected layoffs in the fourth quarter of 2010, which have manifested themselves in the most recent U.S. Labor Department jobs report, are cause for optimism that 2011 may see increased job creation at the highest level since the global recession began."

"Bellweather" Indicator

Further, 49 percent of survey respondents with hiring responsibility are planning to hire within one or more of the following operational areas: execution and control of operations, purchasing/customer relationship management, quality, resources planning and supply chain management.

"Often, supply chain and operations management are a bellwether for the global economy as a whole," said Drew Rosen, professor of operations management at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and a member of the research team. "Increased expected hiring at this level across job functions has positive implications for a variety of sectors, including manufacturing. This quarter's results are very promising for professionals seeking employment."

Data in the report show demand for employees with "soft skills" in addition to technical skills. Supply chain and operations management professionals who possess well-developed oral and written communication skills and customer service skills, in addition to operations knowledge, will fair best in the hiring process, according to the fourth quarter report.

The entire report is available to APICS members at

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