The bad news: Staffing industry employment was significantly lower in the first quarter of 2009 compared to last year.
The good news: Colorado Springs has been spared the worst declines.
America’s staffing companies employed an average of two million temporary and contract workers per day from January through March—down 27.9 percent or 769,000 jobs from the first quarter of last year, according to the American Staffing Association.
This was the sixth consecutive quarter of year-to-year declines in employment. The last time the staffing industry experienced a similar prolonged year-to-year contraction was during the 2001 recession and subsequent recovery period.
Some of the ASA’s member firms said they believe the industry may be seeing the first signs of stabilization.
In Colorado Springs, Kelly Services general manager Linda Switzer said while her company, like other staffing firms, had experienced a downturn in placements and revenues, it hasn’t been nearly as bad as expected.
Revenues generated by U.S. temporary and contract staffing totaled $13 billion in the first quarter of this year. That’s a decline of 26.5 percent or a drop of $4.7 billion—when compared to the first quarter of 2008.
It also represents the largest year-to-year decrease in quarterly sales reported by the industry since ASA began conducting its quarterly staffing employment and sales survey in 1992.