SIA Weekly Indicator Value Chart

Commercial staffing hours trend upward ahead of Thanksgiving

Total temporary staffing hours were up very slightly this week as compared to the previous week, driven by the 1% week-over-week increase in commercial staffing hours. Professional hours recovered from the previous week’s sequential decline to remain largely stable.

*Indexed value of US staffing hours benchmarked against the week ending January 19, 2019.

US Staffing Indicator increases slightly but remains largely stable

Commentary for the week ending November 18

  • The overall index value for the US staffing industry returned to 98 where it had been for most of October
  • The professional staffing indexed value saw a slight increase to 136 from 135 the previous week
  • Commercial staffing remained at 82 for a third week
Indicator values for US Staffing, Professional Staffing, and Commercial Staffing

The graph is interactive.

Temporary staffing hours remain below 2022 levels

  • Total temporary staffing hours are 7% below 2022 levels, the same as the previous week
  • Hours have been down between 7% and 10% YOY since July
  • Commercial staffing is down 9% compared to the same week last year
Year-over-year change in the US staffing, professional staffing, and commercial staffing weekly hours worked

The graph is interactive.

Staffing Industry Analysts' perspective

Hours worked in the US staffing industry in the week ending Nov 18th decreased by -7% year-over-year. Commercial staffing hours were down -9% while Professional staffing hours were down -4%.

Since the Labor Day Holiday, the average week-on-week growth rate was 1.4% for Professional hours, compared with 0.8% for Commercial Hours (0.9% for US Staffing overall). These average growth rates appear to slow further every week, suggesting the momentum we have been describing is becoming more muted.

Over the past five weeks, hours worked in Commercial occupations fell by an average year-over-year growth rate of -9%. Year-to-date, hours worked in Commercial occupations decreased by an average year-over-year growth rate of -11%. Over the year 2022, the average year-over-year growth rate for Commercial staffing hours was -1%.

Over the past five weeks, hours worked in Professional occupations decreased by an average year-over-year growth rate of -5%. Year-to-date, hours worked in Professional occupations decreased by an average year-over-year growth rate of -7%. Over the year 2022, the average year-over-year growth rate for Professional staffing hours was 12%.

Compared to the same week two years ago (in November 2021), Commercial staffing was down -16%, and Professional staffing was down -4%.


The US staffing industry is a large and dynamic market that continues to offer big opportunities

The year-over-year decline in the Indicator is roughly in line with the decline in temporary help employment as reported in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly Employment Situation reports. The November 2023 US Jobs Report (published on November 3rd) estimates that employment in the temporary help services industry fell by -6.1% in October 2023, on a Y/Y basis.

However, both the BLS data and the SIA | Bullhorn Staffing Indicator suggest that the pace of decline may be stabilizing. The sequential gains we have reported since the Labor Day Holiday are directionally in agreement with the modest increase in temporary employment reported by the BLS for October, when compared to September 2023.

While the industry continues to gradually descend from the pandemic era highs, we are cautiously hopeful that gains will continue through the coming months and this proves to be a turning point for the industry. For more discussion of the market dynamics for each skill segment of staffing, SIA Corporate Members are encouraged to read our latest US Staffing Industry Forecast report, published on September 12th

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 that ended ten days prior to the release. 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. For further information on how the Indicator has been created and detailed technical notes please refer to the methodology.