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BLS: Staffing Employment Little Changed in March

Seasonally adjusted employment data released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that staffing industry employment dipped slightly, shedding 7,500 jobs (down 0.3%) from February to March. In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help employment for the month was 8.0% higher than in March 2011.

U.S. nonfarm payroll employment in March grew at about half the rate of that noted in February, adding 120,000 new jobs to the economy. Most of the employment growth continued to be driven by new job creation in the private sector.

“For the most part, staffing firms continued to see healthy demand in March, as was reflected by the nonseasonally adjusted BLS employment numbers,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “In the current environment, businesses are understandably cautious about when and how to add additional flexible and permanent staff.”

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that the staffing industry added 29,400 jobs (up 1.2%) from February to March. On a year-to-year basis, there were 8.5% more staffing employees in March compared with the same month in 2011.