Hiring Data Shows More Temp and Contract Workers
On any given day during the first quarter of 2013, on average there were 2.86 million temporary or contract workers in the United States, according to survey data released by the American Staffing Association.
The report includes data collected from a range of staffing sectors, including health care, legal, and administrative workers.
Staffing numbers rose 2.9 percent from the first quarter of 2012; the period marked 13 consecutive quarters of year-over-year staffing job growth. ASA statistics dating back to 1990 can be found here.
Staffing jobs declined by 148,000 workers from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of this year--a seasonal employment pattern that, according to ASA, is typical.
In a statement, ASA President and CEO Richard Wahlquist said, Temporary and contract employment is a good indicator of where the economy is today.
According to ASA, most staffing firms expect to see slow but steady growth in the utilization of temporary and contract workers in the months ahead. No-strings-attached staffing relationships have found favor with employers in the post-recession era.
Jeff Silber, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, recently told Bloomberg, Whats different in the current economic expansion compared with past recoveries is that companies are reticent to hire even as their business is growing and they need more staff.
Dan Fortunato, director of purchasing for construction and services at Ford Motor Company, told Bloomberg that the company had increased its temporary workforce by 11 percent in the past year. As Fords sales improve, Fortunato said, Staffing companies allow us to be more nimble, especially with project-based, time-specific positions that require specialized expertise.