BLS: Staffing Jobs Flat in October

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Staffing Up 8.2% From a Year Ago

Seasonally adjusted employment data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that temporary help employment was relatively flat, adding 3,300 new jobs from September to October (up 0.1%). In a year-to-year comparison, 8.2% more temporary workers were employed during October 2013 than during October 2012. The release of these data comes one week later than originally scheduled because of the recent partial federal government shutdown. All data collection activities for both the household and payroll surveys were suspended during the shutdown. The October reference period for the payroll survey was unchanged.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that the staffing industry added 33,900 jobs (up 1.2%) from September to October of this year. On a year-to-year basis, there were 7.6% more staffing employees in October than in the same month last year.

“Staffing firms are continuing to report slow but steady increases in demand across several sectors,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “But the overall pace of the employment recovery remains tepid and it continues to be a very competitive environment for job seekers.”

Overall U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 204,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate edged up to 7.3%. Over the past 12 months, employment growth has averaged 190,000 jobs per month.

Sectors adding jobs to the economy included leisure and hospitality (+53,000), retail trade (+44,000), professional and technical services (+21,000), manufacturing (+19,000), and health care (+15,000). Employment in most other major industries showed little change over the month.

BLS also provides both seasonal and nonseasonal employment estimates for search and placement firms, however these reports lag by one month. BLS reported that seasonal search and placement employment in September was up 0.3% from August, totaling 290,300 jobs for the month. In a year-to-year comparison, September employment was up 4.7% from the same month in 2012.

Nonseasonally adjusted search and placement employment was down 0.9% from August to September, adding 291,900 new jobs. In a year-over-year comparison, nonseasonally adjusted employment for this staffing segment was up 4.5%.

For more information, visit the ASA newsroom.

Interviews with ASA executives are available.


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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