Staffing Employment Shows Promise in Third Quarter


4Q20 Revenue Expected to Decline 7%

After staffing employment fell to Great Recession levels during the second quarter of 2020, third quarter data released today by the American Staffing Association show promising signs of recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.3 million temporary and contract workers per week in the third quarter of 2020—increasing by nearly 300,000 from the second quarter.

Staffing employment decreased 33.6% in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019—a historic year-to-year decline.
Staffing employment decreased 23.5% in the third quarter of 2020 from the same period in 2019. Although a historic year-to-year decline for the third quarter, the gap narrowed as staffing employment regained much of the second-quarter loss.

“During the third quarter, staffing companies played an essential role in getting people safely back to work,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “The staffing industry is uniquely positioned to continue providing opportunities to those who have been furloughed or laid off during the pandemic, aiding the recovery of overall employment in the United States.”

Temporary and contract staffing sales totaled $29.7 billion in the third quarter of 2020, down 13.6% from the same quarter in 2019. Staffing companies expect their fourth-quarter revenue to decline 7% year-to-year and anticipate a 15% drop for the full year compared with 2019.

On a quarter-to-quarter basis, staffing jobs grew 14.4% from the second to the third quarter of 2020 and staffing sales expanded 14.5%—improving from the prior quarter commensurate with pandemic recovery efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 and safely reopen businesses.

To learn more about the quarterly ASA Staffing Employment and Sales Survey, visit, or follow ASA research on Twitter.

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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

Michelle R. Snyder
Director, Public Relations

Ali Donzanti


ASA Workforce MonitorMore than three-quarters of employed U.S. adults (79%) are satisfied with their employers’ pandemic-related return-to-work plans. Download the infographic »

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