March Staffing Jobs Up 12.5% From a Year Ago
Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows seasonally adjusted staffing industry employment added 29,000 new jobs in March, increasing temporary help payrolls by 1.3% from February. Temporary help firms have added approximately 500,000 workers to industry payrolls since August 2009, when BLS seasonally adjusted data on staffing employment began to show growth.
In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help employment is 12.5% higher than March 2010. The job gains in temporary help over the month, along with those in professional and technical services (35,000), led March employment growth in the service sector of the economy.
“We are seeing encouraging signs that the jobs recovery is developing traction,” says Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “The fact that firms are now adding to both their flexible and permanent work forces means that demand for U.S. goods and services is up and that confidence is growing as we head into the second quarter.”
Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that staffing employment increased 2.4% over February. On a year-to-year basis, there were 13.3% more workers employed in March 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 9% increase in staffing payrolls since March 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.