ASA works to advance the staffing industry. About ASA

Staffing Employment Begins Recovering From Pandemic

Following the near record highs posted in 2019, full-year 2020 data released today by the American Staffing Association show how the coronavirus pandemic challenged providers of workforce solutions, with temporary and contract staffing jobs falling to Great Recession levels in the second quarter yet rebounding in the second half of the year.

Staffing employment plummeted by 33.6%—more than one million jobs—year-to-year in the second quarter of 2020, as the nation was shut down by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The industry began to rebound, with average weekly staffing employment increasing from 2.1 million in the second quarter to 2.3 million in the third quarter (+14.4%); climbing further to 2.8 million in the fourth quarter (+18.8%). Temporary and contract staffing sales followed similar patterns.

Throughout 2020, U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.5 million temporary and contract workers per week, down 19.5% year-to-year; annual staffing employment sales totaled $122.3 billion, 10.5% less than in 2019.

Despite the pandemic, staffing companies hired a total of 13.6 million temporary and contract employees during all of 2020, with an average length of employment with a staffing agency at 9.6 weeks.

“While the pandemic took its toll on the economy in 2020,  many staffing companies are reporting continued increases in demand for temporary and contract workers in the first quarter of 2021,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “Workplace disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has put an even higher premium on the need for more flexible and inclusive workforce solutions.”

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

# # #

About the American Staffing Association (ASA)

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 MonitorNearly half of employed U.S. job seekers (49%) believe AI tools used in job recruiting are more biased than their human counterparts. View the results & download the infographics »
Follow ASA on the web
Suggested For You