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BLS: Staffing Employment Surges in February

Up 4.2% From a Year Ago

Temporary help employment grew robustly in February, adding nearly 27,000 jobs over the month, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Staffing employment increased 0.9% from January to February and was 4.2% higher than in February 2017—the greatest year-to-year growth since July 2015.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment rose 1.2% from January to February. Year-to-year, there were 4.0% more staffing employees in February than in the same month last year.

“The strength of staffing employment growth reflects improving overall economic growth,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “While this is great news for job seekers, a top challenge facing employers across a growing number of sectors is attracting and retaining enough qualified talent to sustain current and future growth.”

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 313,000 jobs in February (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for December and January, job gains averaged 242,000 per month over the past three months, significantly higher than the average of 190,000 for the prior 12 months.

The February unemployment rate remained at 4.1% for the fifth consecutive month.

BLS also released preliminary January employment data for search and placement services, which, seasonally adjusted, grew 0.9% from December 2017. Search and placement jobs totaled 306,100 in January, 1.5% more 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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