Seasonally adjusted employment data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that temporary help services added 24,400 new jobs in February (up 0.9% from January). In a year-to-year comparison, staffing firms employed 8.9% more temporary workers in February than in the same month a year ago, according to BLS.
Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that staffing employment increased by 35,000 in February (up 1.3% from January and better than February’s historical average increase of 0.6%). On a year-to-year basis, there were 10.0% more staffing employees in February than in the same month last year.
“The staffing industry continues to help create employment opportunities in an environment when businesses remain cautious in hiring,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Staffing and recruiting firms enhance workforce flexibility and provide access to talent across the full spectrum of occupations.”
Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 jobs in February, BLS reported. Monthly job gains averaged 189,000 in the prior 12 months. The unemployment rate increased from 6.6% to 6.7% in February.
BLS also released preliminary January employment data for search and placement services: seasonally adjusted at 304,300, an increase of 3,200 (1.1%) from December.