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Staffing Firms Add 16,000 Jobs in April

Staffing firms created 16,100 new jobs in April, up 0.6% from March and 5.5% from April 2014, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-to-year staffing job growth averaged 5.8% over the past 12 months.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment increased 2.1% from March to April. Year-to-year, there were 6.0% more staffing employees in April than in the same month last year.

“Heading into the beginning of the second quarter, staffing and recruiting firms are reporting increases in orders to fill temporary and permanent positions across much of the economy,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Labor markets continue to tighten in several sectors, most notably in health care, where demand is outpacing the supply of available nurses, therapists, physicians, and physician assistants.”

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 jobs in April (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for February and March, the data showed that monthly job gains averaged 191,000 over the past three months, significantly less than the average of 257,000 for the prior 12 months.

The unemployment rate ticked down slightly to 5.4% in April—down 0.1 percentage points from March and down 0.8 percentage points from a year ago.