BLS: Staffing Employment Steady in February


Up 3.0% from a Year Ago, Pace Eases

Temporary help employment showed little change from January to February (-0.3%), but it was 3.0% higher in February 2016 than in February 2015, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-to-year staffing job growth averaged 3.8% per month over the past 12 months.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment decreased 0.4% from January to February. However, year-to-year, there were 3.1% more staffing employees in February than in the same month last year.

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 242,000 jobs in February (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for December 2015 and January 2016, the data showed that monthly job gains averaged 228,000 per month over the past three months, marginally more than the average of 225,000 for the prior 12 months.

“Even in the face of significant global economic headwinds, businesses across many sectors continue to strategically add to their workforces,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “This is a positive indicator of employer confidence in continued U.S. economic growth.”

The unemployment rate held at 4.9%.

BLS also released preliminary January employment data for search and placement services, which decreased 0.5% from December 2015, seasonally adjusted. Search and placement jobs totaled 312,600 in January, 7.3% higher than in the same month last year.

For more information, visit the ASA newsroom. Interviews with ASA executives are available.

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