BLS: Staffing Job Growth Continues in September


Up 2.9% From a Year Ago

Temporary help employment grew 0.3% from August to September, adding 10,600 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 September 2017. Year-to-year staffing job growth has averaged 3.3% per month in the first nine months of 2018, significantly higher than the average of 2.2% per month for all of 2017.

BLS’s initial estimates on seasonally adjusted temporary help services employment data tend to be materially 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 2.0% from August to September. Year to year, unadjusted, there were 3.1% more staffing employees in September than in the same month last year.

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 134,000 jobs in September (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for July and August, job gains averaged 190,000 per month over the past three months, less than the average of 201,000 per month for the prior 12 months.

The unemployment rate declined to 3.7%, the lowest since 1969.

“Despite the apparent effect of Hurricane Florence on the overall jobs numbers, the September gains extended an eight-year streak of consecutive job growth, by far the longest ever recorded,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “As the labor market continues to tighten, businesses need to focus on new ways of attracting and upskilling candidates to help fill their talent pipelines.”

BLS also released preliminary August employment data for search and placement services, which, seasonally adjusted, remained unchanged (0.0%) from July. Search and placement jobs totaled 313,100 in August, 4.3% higher than in the same month last year.

Hurricane Florence affected data collection in many BLS surveys. Further discussion of the impact of the recent hurricanes on the September estimates can be found in the Commissioner’s Statement on the Employment Situation.

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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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