Stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs growth in July included another large contribution from the temporary staffing sector. The fastest growth in U.S. temporary payrolls in more than a year also lifted the temporary penetration rate to its highest level in more than five years. Industry executives and analysts expect the temporary percentage rate to hit a record high soon, reflecting caution among employers amid economic uncertainty as well as a shift in the nature of American jobs.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Aug. 3 that staffing services added 14,100 jobs last month. The 10% year-over-year growth was the fastest since May 2011. The percentage of temporary workers in the labor force bottomed out in June 2009 at 1.34%. July’s rate of 1.91% was the highest since April 2007. The rate is approaching the peak during the last economic expansion, 1.96% in 2005, and could soon top the April 2000 record of 2.03%.
“We’re pretty optimistic about the rest of this year and into 2013,” says Joanie Ruge, chief employment analyst at the U.S. unit of Randstad Holding NV. “There’s a shift in the way companies hire. They want to use talent on an on-demand basis, when they need them for projects. I would predict that (temporary penetration) number to cross 2% and break a record, maybe by the end of the year.”
Business is steady, says Joel Capperella, vice president of Yoh, a staffing provider of workers for technology, health care, and other fields. “It’s not a waterfall, it’s more like a steady drip,” he says. “We still see plenty of larger (clients) that are sitting on cash that are talking about investing, but there’s a lot of uncertainty around the economy, the regulatory impact, what happens in the election.”
New Webinar: CareerBuilder Staffing and Recruiting Talent Brief
As many as 75% of staffing and recruiting professionals say some of their currently existing talent acquisition and human capital management roles will be completely automated using technology over the next 10 years. Find out how this will impact your business.