The American economy is continuing to expand for more than five years in a row since the end of Great Recession. However, in this entire five year period the expansion is at sub-par levels. The U.S. economy took about five years to recover the jobs that were lost during the 18 months of Great Recession. Even though, the job losses have been regained but with the population explosion there are now new workers who are competing for the newly created jobs. The unemployment rate that has come on par with normal levels has also resulted in the decline of labor force participation to the lowest levels in decades.
On the other hand, the staffing industry as such is having a sustained growth at unprecedented rates that is quite amazing. Historically, staffing employment used to coincide with the economic trends (as measured by GDP) that means as the economy grew so does the staffing employment and as the GDP shrank, the staffing employment would also fall. Way back in 2006, the American Staffing Association or ASA has introduced its Staffing Index that provides a real time gauge of staffing industry employment and overall economic activity. This index tracks the weekly changes in temporary and contract employment with the results reported within nine days after the close of a work week.
This Index that was set to 100 during its public launch during the month of June.2006 is allowing observers to easily estimate how much staffing employment has changed over the time. The index is accurately predicting the turning points of the last economic cycle and as per this index ever since the economic recovery that began in 2009, the staffing employment has been growing faster than the economy and the overall employment. As per the quarterly ASA Staffing Employment and Sales Survey, staffing companies in the United States has employed on an average of three million temporary and contract workers per week in 2013 which is up 4.0% of 2012.
In addition, the staffing and recruiting sales increased by 4.6% in 2013 with the temporary and contract staffing sales totaled $109.2 billion in 2013. Staffing clients are increasingly using temporary to permanent arrangements as a hiring strategy. Right now, organizations are cautious in hiring and instead of hiring permanent employees, businesses are increasingly hiring the services of staffing firms or agencies to match their workforce as per their business pace to keep them fully staffed during busy times.