BLS: Staffing Employment Takes a Downturn in January

Feb 05, 2016
Staffing Employment Up 2.9% From a Year Ago.
“Employment in temporary help services edged lower in January (-25,000), after edging up by the same amount in December,” according to Erica L. Groshen, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, commenting on the January 2016 jobs report released today. Seasonally adjusted staffing employment was down -0.9% from December 2015 to January 2016, but up 2.9% from in January 2015. Year-to-year staffing job growth averaged 4.0% over the past 12 months.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment decreased 8.4% from December 2015 to January 2016. However, year-to-year, there were 3.2% more staffing employees in January than in the same month last year.

“A big contributor to the lower employment was the decline in jobs added at the largest companies, who are very sensitive to current economic conditions, compared to December,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Over the past year, businesses with less than 500 employees have created nearly 80% of new jobs.”

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 jobs in January (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for November and December, the data showed that monthly job gains averaged 231,000 per month over the past three months, marginally more than the average of 228,000 for the prior 12 months.

The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9% after holding at 5.0% for three consecutive months.

BLS also released preliminary December 2015 employment data for search and placement services, which increased 2.3% from November, seasonally adjusted. Search and placement jobs totaled 315,800 in December, 6.4% higher than in the same month last year.

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