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BLS: Staffing Employment Steady in August

Up 4.3% From a Year Ago

Temporary help employment was unchanged (0.0%) from July to August, but was 4.3% higher than in August 2016, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-to-year staffing job growth has averaged 4.1% per month in the first eight months of 2017, significantly higher than the average of 1.4% for full-year 2016.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment increased 1.7% from July to August. Year-to-year, there were 4.3% more staffing employees in August than in the same month last year.

“Staffing companies are reporting that businesses across most sectors continue to strategically increase the size of their flexible and permanent workforces,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “The American Staffing Association salutes the contributions of all American workers on this Labor Day weekend.”

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 jobs in August (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for June and July, job gains averaged 185,000 per month over the past three months, more than the average of 176,000 for the prior 12 months.

The unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage point to 4.4% in August, offsetting the prior month’s decrease.

The August BLS employment data do not include any potential effects from Hurricane Harvey as the data were collected prior to the storm.

BLS also released preliminary July employment data for search and placement services, which, seasonally adjusted, increased 0.5% from June. Search and placement jobs totaled 296,500 in July, 1.5% higher than in the same month last year.

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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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