Staffing Firms Add 4,000 Jobs in March, Slow Growth Continues
Temporary help employment showed little change from February to March (0.1%), according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Staffing employment was 1.9% higher than in March 2015. Year-to-year staffing job growth averaged 3.5% 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 increased 1.1% from February to March. Year-to-year, there were 1.6% more staffing employees in March than in the same month last year.
Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 215,000 jobs in March (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for January and February, the data showed that monthly job gains averaged 209,000 per month over the past three months, less than the average of 223,000 for the prior 12 months.
“As talent markets continue to tighten, finding qualified employees continues to be a top 2016 priority for most business,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Staffing and recruiting firms are reporting increases in demand for permanent hires which would be expected at this stage of the economic cycle.”
The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0%, up from 4.9% in February.
BLS also released preliminary February employment data for search and placement services, which increased 0.4% from January, seasonally adjusted. Search and placement jobs totaled 313,300 in February, 7.0% higher than in the same month last year.
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The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state and regional affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit americanstaffing.net.