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Staffing Employment Declined in First Quarter of 2024

U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.2 million temporary and contract workers per week in the first quarter of 2024, according to data released today by the American Staffing Association—down by 186,000 from the fourth quarter of 2023.

On a quarter-to-quarter basis, staffing employment and sales typically decline in the first quarter, grow in subsequent quarters, and peak in the fourth quarter. Staffing employment, however, declined at the end of 2023 as the industry contended with tightening macroeconomic conditions that slowed staffing growth. Thus, while a quarter-to-quarter decline of 7.7% in staffing employment is on par with the average since 2008, on a year-to-year basis staffing employment fell 13.9%.

Temporary and contract staffing sales declined in a similar manner. Totaling $31.5 billion in the first quarter of 2024, staffing sales were down 8.4% from the fourth quarter of 2023 and down 15.9% from the first quarter of 2023. Looking ahead, private staffing companies are projecting their third quarter revenue to grow 1.6% year-to-year, and their full year 2024 sales to increase 0.7%, compared with 2023.

“The labor market remains healthy despite some erosion from tightening economic conditions. Growth is strong but concentrated within a handful of sectors, which raises the bar for staffing and recruiting companies when finding new opportunities to serve clients and talent,” said ASA chief executive officer Richard Wahlquist. “Staffing companies are often the first to face the costs of lower labor demand, and the first to benefit in the uptick that lies beyond the trough. With increasing odds of a soft landing, staffing and recruiting companies are cautiously optimistic about the second half of the year as economic conditions normalize.”

Share Your Staffing World Story by Tomorrow and You Could Win a Free Registration

Staffing World® is where the staffing community comes together to make strategic connections, learn about new developments, and get solutions to win business and spur growth. This year’s ASA annual convention and expo takes place Oct. 22–24 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN—and ASA is giving you the opportunity to win a free registration package.

Record a 60-second video of yourself telling your Staffing World story—it could be the story of why you love Staffing World, why you want to go, or what your best Staffing World experience has been. Post the video on your LinkedIn profile, tag the American Staffing Association, and include the hashtag #StaffingWorldStory. (Check out the full rules and eligibility requirements at

One winner will receive a free registration package, and everyone who posts a video will receive a discount code just for participating. You must post your video by June 28 for a chance to win.

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.