The SIA | Bullhorn Staffing Industry Indicator is a unique new tool for gauging current weekly trends in the volume of temporary staffing delivered by US staffing firms.
With the US temporary staffing industry often functioning as a lead indicator for the US economy and labor market, the
SIA | Bullhorn Staffing Industry Indicator is also useful for business leaders, investors and market observers seeking forward-looking insight.
The Professional Staffing indexed value was 118 last week, following readings of 123 and 123 in the prior two weeks (ending May 29th and May 22nd.)
The Commercial Staffing indexed value was 86 last week, following values of 89 and 90 in the prior two weeks.
The US Staffing indexed value, weighted to reflect the US staffing industry mix of professional and commercial jobs, was 97 last week, following readings of 101 and 101 in the prior two weeks, as shown in the graph below.
Temporary staffing hours worked last week (the week ending June 5th) were up 29% 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 summer due to the pandemic.
Temporary staffing hours worked in professional occupations (IT, healthcare, finance, engineering, etc.) were up 40% year-over-year.
Temporary staffing hours completed in commercial occupations (industrial and office/clerical) were up 21% year-over-year.
On a week-over-week sequential basis, temporary staffing hours worked were down 3.8% mainly due to the Memorial Day holiday that fell in last week. Professional temporary staffing hours were down 3.8% while commercial temporary staffing hours declined 3.7%.
Staffing Industry Analysts’ Perspective
In looking at the trend of recent weeks, the Indicator suggests that staffing hours worked have been holding roughly stable for both professional and commercial occupations, as the economy continues to reopen and find its footing.
On a week-over-week sequential basis (week ending June 5th compared with week ending May 29th), professional and commercial staffing hours were down 3.8% and 3.7%, respectively, due mainly to the Memorial Day holiday occurring last week. In looking at past year data, the week containing the Memorial Day holiday was down 2.3% in 2020 and 3.8% in 2019 in commercial staffing compared with the prior week. For professional staffing, the corresponding figures were 5.3% and 4.8% declines.
Commercial staffing was up 21% compared to lockdown conditions a year ago, but down 6% compared to the same week two years ago (in 2019), suggesting that substantial recovery has taken place, as well as further room to grow as the economy fully recovers.
Professional staffing was up 40% y/y compared to a year ago, and up 25% compared to two years ago, with growth still supported by high levels of healthcare staffing related to the pandemic. In addition, portions of IT staffing remain up double digits compared to both one and two years ago.
We remain optimistic that the US staffing industry is poised for further growth based on trends in the Indicator and other improving economic data points. As one example, the Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims last week dropped for the sixth straight week to 376,000, another pandemic low.
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.