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Staffing Employment Fell in 2023 but the Contraction Slowed in the Fourth Quarter

U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.4 million temporary and contract workers per week in the fourth quarter of 2023. Compared with historic levels of growth in 2022 for the staffing industry, this marks a decrease of 16.8% from 2.9 million workers per week in 2022 during the same period, and a 12.5% decrease for the full year from 2022 to 2023.

On a quarter-to-quarter basis, average weekly staffing employment eased 0.6% from the third quarter to the fourth quarter—around 14,000 fewer staffing jobs. This bucks the typical seasonal pattern of staffing employment growth from Q2 to Q4 after a fall in Q1. However, even though staffing employment decreased every quarter in 2023, Q4 saw the smallest quarterly decline.

“While demand cooled during most of 2023, this last quarter saw the smallest quarter-to-quarter decreases in staffing sales and hires,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA chief executive officer. “Industry members are cautiously optimistic about a return to growth later this year.”

Annual sales for temporary and contract staffing totaled $142.4 billion in 2023, a decrease of 10.5% from the record high number of $159.1 billion in 2022, but on par with the level seen in 2021. Temporary and contract staffing sales totaled $34.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023, down 16.1% from the same quarter in the previous year. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, staffing sales edged down 0.9% from the third quarter to the fourth quarter.

Free ASA Webinar Today—Generating Sales Leads

Don’t miss the ASA webinar “Coordinated Lead Generation: Accelerating Your 2024 Pipeline.” It takes place today from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern time. In this session presented by the ASA office–administrative section, a panel of industry experts—Jeff Pelliccio, Shannon Khan, and Ashley Bowlin—will discuss how staffing firms can evolve toward utilizing a strategic alignment of resources to structure a coordinated lead generation campaign and achieve their growth goals.

All ASA webinars are free for ASA members, and most qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. To learn more and to register, visit

The Latest From Your Colleagues on ASA Central

ASA Central—the dynamic online community just for staffing professionals—is home to more than 27,000 staffing professional profiles and countless ongoing industry conversations.

This week, take a look at your colleagues’ discussions and some of the blogs they’ve posted on ASA Central:

Get involved with the community—update your profile today so you can network with colleagues, join a section community, recommend and comment on your colleagues’ posts, and share your own blog or discussion post. Log in to ASA Central now.

Mind Your Audience: Disclosure of Confidential Information to AI Programs Can Give Rise to Trade Secret Misappropriation ClaimsM

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