Staffing Industry Trends

Because the staffing industry is such an important part of the nation’s employment outlook, staffing industry statistics are widely reported. Considering all the statistics available, maybe it’s best to look at them in terms of staffing industry trends.

Staffing Industry Trend #1:
Staffing is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment services industry—made up of employment placement agencies, temporary help services, and professional employer organizations—has grown from 3.5 million jobs in 2004 and is projected to reach 5.1 million jobs by 2014. Given the nation’s current rate of job growth, that’s fast, indeed.

The staffing industry analysis by the Bureau reports that the “catalyst for this industry’s growth will be increases in the demand for temporary staffing services, as flexible work arrangements and schedules continue to proliferate and businesses make their staffing patterns more responsive to market changes.”

 
Staffing Industry Trend #2:
The Industrial Staffing sector will remain strong.

Also according to the BLS, the industrial staffing sector employs more than 35% of all temporary and contract employees, making it the largest employer of the staffing sectors. As the need for a flexible and dynamic industrial work force continues, we can expect the demand for industrial staffing to remain high.

Staffing Industry Trend #3:
Unemployment will remain high by historical standards. 

The slow pace of recovery in the job market is bad news for the nation, but not so bad for the staffing industry. Though it might seem counterintuitive that less employment would mean more opportunities for staffing, the fact is that greater unemployment, increases the size of the labor pool available to staffing firms, while the climate of uncertainty discourages employers from adding full-time positions, necessitating more temporary staffing solutions. 

Staffing Industry Trend #4:
Workers will continue to move away from long-term employment with one company.

Experts predict an increasing number of workers will look to contract work, part-time work and other less-than-long-term employment arrangements. That’s good news for people in the staffing field. A number of factors are at play here: 

  • Workers who 20 years ago would have retired are looking for ways to keep working. That’s due both to the recession and to the fact that people are living longer, healthier lives.
  • The Generation X workers who follow the Baby Boomers tend to be a more mobile workforce. Many more of them are receptive to contract jobs. 
  • With fewer workers planning to retire early, more may make time off in mid-career as part of their long-term career plan.
     

Staffing Industry Trend #5:
Demographic changes will mean changes in demand as well as in the workforce. 

Reading staffing industry statistics can be challenging: technology can create new jobs, make others obsolete, and also allow some jobs to be done from overseas. But in some areas, it’s clear workers will be needed, and that the work can’t be done from afar. One example is elder care, a field in which the need for workers is growing faster than the supply. This is an area demanding a wide variety of skills and levels of expertise, while at the same time calling for a great deal of flexibility from workers, a combination that suits the staffing industry well.