HR Consulting in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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The growing importance of outsourcing internal services by businesses has helped the industry grow through the recession. Still, the high number of business closures, low corporate profit and high unemployment rates have significantly slowed spending on HR consulting services, which are often nondiscretionary. The industry is forecast to turn around, though, as the economy and business activity pick up. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the HR Consulting industry.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

The growing importance of human resource management has supported the industry

In the five years to 2012, revenue for the HR Consulting industry is expected to increase at an annualized 0.3%, totaling $24.8 billion. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Andrew Krabeepetcharat, “human resource management has become more important as the US economy becomes more service oriented, putting emphasis on employee relations and benefits." Recent industry growth has been stifled by the recession, though, which limited corporate profit and clients' ability to pay for consulting services. Furthermore, high unemployment has reduced the demand for some industry services, including advice on recruitment and retention and on employee relations and communication. In light of recent improvements in the economy, rising corporate profit and a strengthening labor market are expected to increase industry revenue 2.1% in 2012.

In addition to weakened demand in 2009 and 2010, the HR Consulting industry has faced increased competition from other industries over the past five years. Consulting firms that have traditionally served finance and accounting clients are beginning to offer more HR-related services. “As a result, the industry has experienced a period of consolidation as firms join forces or acquire other players to be more competitive,” says Krabeepetcharat. For example, two high-profile mergers took place in 2010: Aon Consulting Worldwide merged with Hewitt Associates to form Aon Hewitt, and Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt merged to form Towers Watson. As a result of consolidation, the number of firms operating in the industry is projected to decline slightly in the five years to 2012.

In the five years to 2017, industry revenue is forecast to increase steadily. As corporate profit and the labor market continue to recover, more companies will return to HR consultants for advice on recruitment and retention; employee relations and communication; and determining optimal workplace hours, attendance, pay and benefits. Over the next five years, large industry operators will turn to overseas markets and expand their service offerings to encourage growth. Continued competition with other industries, however, will likely limit profitability. Nonetheless, in 2017, profit margins are forecast to increase from 2012 profit margins. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s HR Consulting in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Industry firms provide advice and assistance to businesses and other organizations for structuring human resource and personnel policies, employee benefits, compensation systems, wage and salary administration, recruitment and retention. This industry does not include companies that provide professional and management development training or those that list employment vacancies and place applicants in employment.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit

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Gavin Smith
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