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BLS: Staffing Employment Edges Up in October

Staffing Job Growth Reverts to Trend

Temporary help employment edged up 0.2% from September to October, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Staffing firms added 6,400 jobs in October, which was 1.3% higher than October 2015. Over the past six months, year-to-year staffing job growth has averaged 1.4% per month, compared with 2.0% 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 by 46,300, up 1.5% from September to October. Year-to-year, there were 1.8% more staffing employees in October than in the same month last year.

“Although growth rates have slowed in many sectors, staffing companies continue to report steady demand for temporary and contract employees, providing job seekers with opportunities across the full spectrum of most occupations,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Given the current level of uncertainty about the global economic and political environment, businesses will continue to place a high premium on strategic sourcing and flexibility when it comes to their talent acquisition strategies.”

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 161,000 jobs in October (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for August and September, job gains averaged 176,000 per month over the past three months, less than the average of 208,000 for the prior 12 months.

The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9% in October, compared with 5.0% in September.

BLS also released preliminary September employment data for search and placement services, which, seasonally adjusted, increased 1.2% from August. Search and placement jobs totaled 320,200 in September, 5.9% 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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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 state 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

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