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BLS: Staffing Employment Rises in October

Up 4.1% From a Year Ago, Pace of Growth Steady

Temporary help employment grew 0.6% from September to October, and was 4.1% higher than in October 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 10 months of 2017, significantly higher than the average of 1.4% for full-year 2016, as reported by BLS earlier this year following a series of downward adjustments.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment increased 2.5% from September to October. Year-to-year, there were 4.1% more staffing employees in October than in the same month last year.

“With 85 consecutive months of job growth, the labor market remains healthy and staffing firms continued to see good demand in October across most sectors, helping businesses strategically expand their labor forces,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “However, with the labor force participation rate declining again in October, finding qualified talent continues to be a challenge and a top priority for American businesses.”

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 261,000 jobs in October (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for August and September, job gains averaged 162,000 per month over the past three months, slightly more than the average of 156,000 for the prior 12 months.

The unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 4.1% in October, the lowest since December 2000.

BLS also released preliminary September employment data for search and placement services, which, seasonally adjusted, decreased 0.7% from August. Search and placement jobs totaled 293,500 in September, 0.6% lower 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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