Temporary help employment edged up 0.2% from March to April, and was 3.9% higher than in April 2016, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-to-year staffing job growth has averaged 3.7% per month in the first four months of 2017, significantly higher than the average of 1.4% for full year 2016.
Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment increased 1.3% from March to April. Year-to-year, there were 3.7% more staffing employees in April 2017 than in the same month last year.
“Staffing firms report increasing signs of business confidence about hiring plans from clients across several sectors,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Decreases in the unemployment rate mean more and better options for qualified job seekers.”
Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 211,000 jobs in April (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for February and March, job gains averaged 174,000 per month over the past three months, slightly less than the average of 182,000 for the prior 12 months.
The unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage point to 4.4% in April, the lowest percentage since May 2007.
BLS also released preliminary March employment data for search and placement services, which, seasonally adjusted, decreased 0.5% from February. Search and placement jobs totaled 293,700 in March, 0.1% higher than in the same month last year.
Source: American Staffing Association