In the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, more businesses turned to temporary staffing agencies to fill open positions in October, which helped raise the area's total employment figures, according to the Lehigh Morning Call.
Recent statistics from the state Department of Labor and Industry show the region's temporary staffing firms placed 14,300 people - a huge increase from the 3,200 that were employed by temp services in the previous month. This leap in temporary staffing could be a boon for the region's economy, as it demonstrates that a wide swath of businesses are needing more help in their operations.
But more than just needing additional help, the hiring numbers are a reflection of the times, when more employers are turning to temp services to fulfill a wide range of their recruitment duties. This likely stems from an uncertain feeling among employers, who may rely on temp workers to ensure a flexible workplace that is more resilient to harsh economic swings.
Ongoing talk of the fiscal cliff has also prompted employers to leverage the services of staffing agencies, according to labor analyst Steven Zellers. In short, if the economy slides over the cliff due to inaction by Congress, the U.S. would most likely head back into recession.
"Employers have been relying on temporary services more and more each year," Zellers said. "It may even be more so now with the fiscal cliff. Businesses that can hire may be hedging their bets and starting with temps."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the temporary help services sector remained strong nationwide in October, and did not fall from the three-month plain it was on leading up to the month. Job growth in the overall professional services sector was notched at 16,000 that month.