Temporary Employment Growth

U.S. staffing companies created 401,000 jobs in 2010, according to data released by the American Staffing Association. Last year’s growth in the average daily employment of temporary and contract workers ranked second to the historical record of 428,000 set in 1994.

On an average business day in 2010, America’s staffing firms employed 2.6 million workers, 18.4% more than in 2009 — a rate of growth not seen since 1993 and 1994, which then exceeded 25% per year. The robust pace of 2010 continued into early 2011. In the first quarter, which usually exhibits a seasonal dip, average daily employment totaled 2.6 million, 14.3% more than in the same period of the previous year.

“Staffing employment reflects the economy,” says Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “As the economy emerged from the recession, businesses turned to flexible staffing solutions to meet increases in demand for their products and services. Even with economic growth slowing in the second quarter of this year, staffing companies continue to offer untapped employment opportunities for job seekers. Businesses have been increasingly interested in temporary-to-permanent placements.”

Temporary and contract staffing sales totaled $87.4 billion in 2010, 21.3% more than in 2009. In the first quarter of 2011, sales increased 19.5% from the same quarter last year to $22.8 billion.