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Staffing Jobs 6% Higher Year-to-Year in First Quarter of 2012

U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.78 million temporary and contract workers per day during the first three months of 2012, according to recent data released by the American Staffing Association, based on its quarterly Employment and Sales Survey.

“In the face of a painfully slow jobs recovery, staffing firms continue to play an important role in helping job seekers get back on the employment track,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of ASA.

From January through March of this year, U.S. temporary and contract employment, while experiencing a usual seasonal dip from the fourth quarter of 2011 (-4.4%), was 6% higher year-to-year. This is the ninth consecutive quarter of year-to-year staffing industry job growth since the recession ended in 2009.

“Employers remain hesitant to add permanent employees due to uncertainty about the current strength of the economy and future economic conditions, including impending tax increases and spending cuts expected to take effect in January 2013. In times like these, businesses are being much more strategic in sourcing additional talent and maintaining work force flexibility,” Wahlquist says.

Temporary and contract sales totaled $25.0 billion in for the first quarter of 2012—9.8% higher than in the same quarter last year.