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BLS: February Staffing Shows Continued Growth

February Staffing Jobs Up 12% From a Year Ago

Seasonally adjusted staffing industry employment showed modest growth in February, increasing by 15,500 jobs (0.7%) from January, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, in a year-to-year comparison, staffing employment showed steady gains and was 12.2% higher than February of last year. BLS noted that job growth in the services sector was largely in employment services (29,000), most of which is temporary help.

“ASA members report that demand continues to increase across all sectors and in all parts of the country,” says Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “More than ever before, businesses are focused on the strategic use of talent, striking the right balance between enhancing productivity with current employees and increasing the size of their flexible and permanent work forces.”

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that staffing employment was up 1.7% from January, performing better than the average 0.4% growth historically observed during February. On a year-to-year basis, there were 13.2% more workers employed in February 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, indicated a similar increase (13%) in staffing payrolls since February 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 is the voice of the U.S. staffing industry. ASA and its affiliated chapters advance the interests of staffing and recruiting firms of all sizes and across all sectors through legal and legislative advocacy, public relations, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. ASA members provide the full range of employment and work force services and solutions, including temporary and contract staffing, recruiting and permanent placement, outplacement and outsourcing, training, and human resource consulting.

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