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BLS: Staffing Employment Grows in August

Up 2.9% From a Year Ago

Temporary help employment grew 0.3% from July to August, adding 10,000 jobs over the month, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Staffing employment was 2.9% higher than in August 2017. Year-to-year staffing job growth has averaged 3.4% per month in the first eight months of 2018, significantly higher than the average of 2.2% for all of 2017.

BLS’s initial estimates on seasonally adjusted temporary help services employment data tend to be downwardly revised the following year, according to an American Staffing Association analysis of BLS data.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment increased 2.2% from July to August. Year to year, unadjusted, there were 2.8% more staffing employees in August than in the same month last year.

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 201,000 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, less than the average of 196,000 for the prior 12 months.

“The U.S. labor market remains robust, marking 95 consecutive months of job growth in August,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “However, because the demand for qualified employees continues to exceed the supply, economic growth will be impeded if employers fail to initiate programs to train, retrain and upskill employees to narrow the growing skills gap.”

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9%.

BLS also released preliminary July employment data for search and placement services, which, seasonally adjusted, ticked up 0.2% from June. Search and placement jobs totaled 311,600 in July, 3.8% 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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