Professional and business services, which includes temporary help and search and placement services, added 47,000 jobs in July, according to the monthly employment situation report released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Over the year, employment in professional and business services has expanded by 648,000,” said BLS commissioner Erica L. Groshen.
Seasonally adjusted temporary help employment was up 0.3% over June and 8.1% over July of last year. While year-to-year growth for the month was the lowest since November, according to BLS, the average over the past nine months has been strong at 8.7%.
Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment decreased by 33,600 in July, down 1.2% from June—a pattern typically seen in July due in part to carryover from the Independence Day holiday. On a year-to-year basis, there were 8.2% more temporary help employees in July than in the same month last year.
“Indications of a slowly strengthening economy are echoed in the staffing industry,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Even with the typical cycles, such as holidays, staffing and recruiting firms continue to report increases in demand, which means more opportunities to help job seekers find temporary and permanent employment.”
Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 209,000 jobs in July (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for May and June, monthly job gains averaged 245,000 over the past three months, up from an average of 209,000 per month since July of last year.
The unemployment rate increased marginally to 6.2% in July versus 6.1% in June.