BLS: Staffing Jobs Seasonally Steady in January


January Staffing Jobs Up 12% From a Year Ago

Seasonally adjusted staffing industry employment showed little change in January, declining by 11,400 jobs (-0.5%) from December, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a year-to-year comparison, staffing employment was 12.1% higher than January of last year. BLS noted that staffing firms have added an average of 25,000 new jobs per month over the past 12 months.

“A seasonal decrease in January staffing employment is normal and should be expected,” says Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “Year-to-year growth remains strong, and indicators from ASA members point toward continued increases in flexible and, eventually, permanent hiring in 2011.”

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that staffing employment ticked down from December to January by 11%, which was more than the historical sequential decrease of 7.5%. On a year-to-year basis, there were 12.2% more staffing employees in January compared with the same month in 2010. The ASA Staffing Index, which is also not seasonally adjusted and therefore is comparable to the nonadjusted employment figures reported by BLS, showed a 13% increase in staffing employment over January 2010.

The ASA Staffing Index is reported nine days after each workweek, making it a virtual real-time measure of staffing employment trends. ASA research shows that staffing employment is a coincident economic indicator and leading employment indicator, especially when the economy is emerging from a recession. Data for the index are gathered by ASA corporate partner Inavero, a market research firm based in Portland, OR.

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The American Staffing Association promotes legal, ethical, and professional practices for the $61 billion U.S. staffing industry. ASA members account for 85% of U.S. staffing industry sales and operate some 14,000 offices throughout the nation. Two million Americans go to work for U.S. staffing companies every business day.

Founded to promote flexible employment opportunities and ensure the quality of staffing services, ASA has been the voice of the U.S. staffing industry since 1966. Members provide a wide range of employment services and solutions, including temporary and contract staffing, recruiting and permanent placement, outplacement and outsourcing, training, and human resource consulting. ASA and its affiliated chapters promote the interests of the industry through legal and legislative advocacy, public relations, education, and the establishment of high standards of ethical conduct.


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