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Staffing Employment Steady in First Quarter

Newly Rebenchmarked ASA Staffing Employment and Sales Survey Data

U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 3.08 million temporary and contract workers per week in the first quarter of 2016, up 0.3% from the same period in 2015, according to data released today by the American Staffing Association. Average weekly employment this January through March was the highest for any first quarter since 2006.

Temporary and contract staffing sales totaled $30.95 billion in the first quarter of 2016—4.6% higher compared with the same period in 2015.

“Temporary and contract employment is an indicator of where the economy is today,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “The good news at this stage in the current economic cycle is that staffing companies continue to report steady demand for temporary, contract, and permanent employees, providing job seekers with employment opportunities across a variety of sectors.”

On a quarter-to-quarter basis, employment and sales typically peak in the fourth quarter, decline in the first quarter, and grow in subsequent quarters. That seasonal pattern held, with staffing employment contracting by 8.1% from the fourth quarter and staffing sales declining by 6.3%.

The quarterly ASA Staffing Employment and Sales Survey data rely on periodic benchmarks from the U.S. Census Bureau. This quarter, ASA revised historical figures for sales, payroll, and employment values back to 2007, based on the latest benchmark data from the 2012 U.S. Economic Census of Business, which was released in March 2016.

See the ASA website for more details about the quarterly ASA Staffing Employment and Sales Survey, sponsored by ASA research partner CareerBuilder.

For more information, visit the ASA newsroom. You can also follow ASA on Twitter and Instagram.

Interviews with ASA executives are available.


About the American Staffing Association

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its affiliated chapters 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

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