With unemployment still hovering above pre-recession levels, many job seekers are turning their attention to organizations that have always been around, but now have added value in a tough job market: Temp agencies.
According to the Reynolds Center Business Organization, staffing firms in states all over the country are filling various temporary roles, such as substitute teachers, emergency medical technicians and workers in the food services industry. The industry is also gaining recognition as being a strong indicator of the current hiring environment, with its arms reaching into just about every sector in the U.S.
The demand for temporary workers, whether they are day laborers or highly trained IT workers, has given rise to many temp agencies around the country, as their work helps both the job seeker and the company throughout the entire recruitment, hiring and training process. These temporary workers are also having an impact on the overall employment situation in the country.
According to the American Staffing Association (ASA), the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS') most recent jobs data shows staffing employment held steady in May, with 9,200 jobs added - an increase of 0.4 percent from the previous month. The ASA's staffing employment index rose 6.6 percent compared with the previous month, up to 93, compared with April's reading of 91. Since the beginning of 2012, temporary and contract staffing has jumped 24.2 percent.
According to the Reynolds Center, while some job seekers say they are "forced" into temporary employment, many are using it as a means of steady employment in the post-recession jobs world. For example, traveling nurses may use temporary staffing agencies to find work around the country, while construction workers, engineers and sales/marketing representatives can use temporary services to find work all over the country.
Temporary staffing employment is expected to continue to increase as the jobs market continues to slump. According to recent data from the BLS, employers posted the fewest job openings in five months in April.
Job openings dropped to 3.4 million in April, compared with 3.7 million March, which had been the best figure in almost four years. The drop in job openings could suggest employers are hesitant to bring on new workers as conditions in Europe continue to deteriorate and the U.S. recovery slows.