BLS: Staffing Employment Robust in April

May 09, 2018

Up 3.9% From a Year Ago. Temporary help employment edged up 0.3% from March to April, and was 3.9% higher than in April 2017, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-to-year staffing job growth has averaged 3.8% per month in the first four months of 2018, significantly higher than the average of 2.2% for all of 2017, as reported by BLS earlier this year following a series of downward adjustments.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment increased 1.4% from March to April. Year to year, there were 3.8% more staffing employees in April than in the same month last year.

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 jobs in April (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for February and March, job gains averaged 208,000 per month over the past three months, considerably higher than the average of 191,000 for the prior 12 months.

After a six-month streak of remaining unchanged at 4.1%, the April unemployment rate edged down to 3.9% for the first time since April 2000—right around the time of the dot-com hiring boom.

“With 236,000 individuals exiting the labor force in April, it’s getting harder for employers across all sectors to recruit qualified talent,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Of course, these historically low unemployment rates are very good news for new college graduates, who should find more and better options as they enter the world of work.”

BLS also released preliminary March employment data for search and placement services, which, seasonally adjusted, eased 0.3% from February. Search and placement jobs totaled 308,700 in March, 3.8% higher than in the same month last year.

Source: American Staffing Association