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Staffing Employment Grew 18% in 2010

New Data From ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey

U.S. staffing companies created 401,000 jobs in 2010, according to data released today by the American Staffing Association. Last year’s growth in the average daily employment of temporary and contract workers ranked second to the historical record of 428,000 set in 1994.

On an average business day in 2010, America’s staffing firms employed 2.6 million workers, 18.4% more than in 2009—a rate of growth not seen since 1993 and 1994, which then exceeded 25% per year. The robust pace of 2010 continued into early 2011. In the first quarter, which usually exhibits a seasonal dip, average daily employment totaled 2.6 million, 14.3% more than in the same period of the previous year.

“Staffing employment reflects the economy,” says Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “As the economy emerged from the recession, businesses turned to flexible staffing solutions to meet increases in demand for their products and services. Even with economic growth slowing in the second quarter of this year, staffing companies continue to offer untapped employment opportunities for job seekers. Businesses have been increasingly interested in temporary-to-permanent placements.”

Temporary and contract staffing sales totaled $87.4 billion in 2010, 21.3% more than in 2009. In the first quarter of 2011, sales increased 19.5% from the same quarter last year to $22.8 billion.

These figures are based on the ASA quarterly employment and sales survey, which has been newly benchmarked to recently released employment services data from the 2007 U.S. Census of Business. Data series have been adjusted back to 1990, when ASA began estimating the size of staffing industry employment and sales. The ASA Staffing Index, a 2006 to present employment metric based on a weekly survey benchmarked to the census, has also been revised. The methodologies of the two ASA surveys—including details on their benchmarks—are posted on the ASA Web site, along with new data series for the quarterly survey and the ASA Staffing Index.

Interviews with ASA executives are available.

For more information, visit You can also follow ASA on Twitter at

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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