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Staffing agencies report record number of contract, temp workers

June 14, 2018 / Riia O'Donnell

U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 3.10 million temporary and contract workers per week in the first quarter of 2018, according to the American Staffing Association (ASA). That number is the highest since ASA starting tracking it in 1992. An increase of 1.2% in Q1 2018 over the same time last year revealed the largest year-to-year growth since 2015. Temporary staffing typically peaks in the last quarter of the year; this year the seasonal jump dropped 7.0% in the first quarter.
Contract and temporary staffing sales totaled over $32 billion for Q1 2018, showing gains of 2.5% over the same period last year. The growth appears to be continuing, as ASA reported swift year-over-year growth in May 2018, as well. Temporary and contract workers are filling vacancies created by low unemployment rates and the skills gap, and growth may be further encouraged by employees seeking more flexible work arrangements. Some data suggests temporary and contract workers could total 50% o...