Weekly Indicator Value Change

Indicator values for the US Staffing, Professional Staffing, and Commercial Staffing Indicators


Updated 10/22/21

The Professional Staffing indexed value was 136 last week, following readings of 137 and 136 in the prior two weeks (ending October 9th and October 2nd, respectively.)

The Commercial Staffing indexed value was 96 last week, following values of 95 and 93 in the prior two weeks.

The US Staffing indexed value, weighted to reflect the US staffing industry mix of professional and commercial jobs, was 109 last week, following readings of 107 and 107 in the prior two weeks, as shown in the graph below.

Year-over-year change in the US Staffing, Professional Staffing, and Commercial Staffing Weekly Hours Worked


Updated 10/22/21

Temporary staffing hours worked last week (the week ending October 16th) were up 21% compared to the corresponding week a year ago, according to the Indicator. The high growth rate is largely explained by the pullback in temporary staffing that occurred last year due to the pandemic.

Temporary staffing hours worked in professional occupations (IT, healthcare, finance, engineering, etc.) were up 31% year-over-year.

Temporary staffing hours completed in commercial occupations (industrial and office/clerical) were up 13% year-over-year.

On a week-over-week sequential basis, temporary staffing hours worked were up 0.2%. Commercial temporary staffing hours were up 0.3% while professional temporary staffing hours were down 0.1%.

Staffing Industry Analysts’ Perspective

Hours worked in the US staffing industry for the week ending October 9th remained near year-to-date highs for both professional and commercial staffing, consistent with the broad seasonal increase observed in the fourth quarter of most calendar years.

Commercial staffing was up 13% compared to pandemic conditions a year ago, but down 4% compared to the same week two years ago (in 2019.)

Professional staffing was up 31% y/y compared to a year ago, and up 28% compared to two years ago, with particularly robust demand for IT and healthcare occupations.

The positive trend in the Indicator is consistent with other macroeconomic factors, including the expiration of federal unemployment benefits at the start of September, easing case rates of the COVID-19 delta variant, and falling weekly initial jobless claims. For the week ended October 9th, initial jobless claims fell to a fresh pandemic low of 290,000 applications, a decrease of 6,000 from the prior week.

About the SIA Bullhorn Staffing Industry Indicator

The SIA | Bullhorn Staffing Indicator is a unique tool for gauging near real time weekly trends in the volume of temporary staffing delivered by US staffing firms. Each week the Indicator reports data for the week ended the prior Saturday. It reflects weekly hours worked by temporary workers across a sample of staffing companies in the US that utilize Bullhorn’s technology solutions. The Indicator is weighted and benchmarked against US Bureau of Labor Statistics data to approximate the composition of the staffing industry by skill. While the indicator does not presume to perfectly reflect the entire universe of US staffing firms, it does represent a sizable sample of the US staffing industry, reflecting a wide range of occupations, client industry verticals, and geographic footprint that spans the country.

The Indicator can be used by staffing firms to benchmark their past and current performance, as well as a tool for forecasting near term industry trends and outlook.

As the US temporary staffing industry has often functioned as a co-incident indicator for the US labor market and economy, the SIA | Bullhorn Staffing Indicator is also useful for a broader audience of business leaders and investors who are seeking real-time insight.

The Indicator is a joint custom research effort between Bullhorn and industry advisor Staffing Industry Analysts.

Revisions and Technical notes on the SIA | Bullhorn Staffing Indicator  

We note the readings for the last 4 weeks are subject to revision and so should be viewed as preliminary, with the reading for the last recorded week the most likely to be revised in next week’s data release. Additionally, this release includes a periodic revision to historical indicator data to account for adjustments in prior source data sets. For further information on how the Indicator has been created and detailed technical notes please refer to the methodology.