Staffing Steady: industry updates
A new report released this month by the American Staffing Association shows that the third quarter was “essentially flat” on a year-to-year basis. The quarterly Staffing Employment and Sales Survey reported a -0.7% change over the third quarter of 2016. However, sales totaled $33.71 billion, which was 4.4% higher than Q3 in 2016. Additionally, an average of 3.22 million temporary and contract workers were employed by US staffing agencies during Q3, keeping the total above the 3 million mark for the 14th consecutive quarter.
According to the most recent ASA Staffing Index report, which looks at weekly changes in the industry, December 2017 is holding steady at 99. Staffing employment for the week of December 11-17 decreased just a bit to 99.66, but it has held above 99 for 8 of the past 9 weeks. This was 0.28% lower than the previous week, but the decrease has been attributed to typical seasonal fluctuations in business. Comparatively, staffing employment for the week was 0.41% higher than the same week last year.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics looks at payroll employment for the week containing the 12th of each month. Reported in its survey from November 2017, temporary jobs increased 3.9%, seasonally adjusted, compared to the same month in 2016. The GDP (gross domestic product) projection from Wall Street Journal economists shows an expected 2.7% increase in the fourth quarter of 2017. This number is important to look at because a projection of where the economy is headed helps show where staffing is headed, too.
While the staffing industry holding steady, both staffing agencies and clients are feeling the “skills gap.” There are talent shortages across a variety of sectors as US employers are increasingly seeking qualified individuals. Training programs, continued education, and work-based learning programs will be key for growth moving forward to meet staffing needs. This skills gap has also increased the use of temp work considerably. We will start to see more skills-based job seeking and hiring, rather than degree or credential-based.
We will have more news to share on how this continues in the New Year! Catch us on Facebook or on our staffing website for more information.