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 125 last week, following readings of 124 and 122 in the prior two weeks (ending May 1st and April 24th.)
The Commercial Staffing indexed value was 91 last week, following values of 90 and 89 in the prior two weeks.
The US Staffing indexed value, weighted to reflect the US staffing industry mix of professional and commercial jobs, was 103 last week, following readings of 101 and 100 in the prior two weeks, as shown in the graph below.
Temporary staffing hours worked last week (the week ending May 8th) were up 31% compared to the corresponding week a year ago, according to the Indicator. Not surprisingly, the high growth rate is largely explained by the pullback in temporary staffing that occurred in May 2020 due to pandemic lockdowns.
Temporary staffing hours worked in professional occupations (IT, healthcare, finance, engineering, etc.) were up 39% year-over-year.
Temporary staffing hours completed in commercial occupations (industrial and office/clerical) were up 24% year-over-year.
On a week-over-week sequential basis, professional temporary staffing hours increased 1.4% and commercial temporary staffing hours worked increased 2.0%, when comparing last week with the week ending May 1st.
Staffing Industry Analysts’ Perspective
In looking at the trend of recent weeks, the Indicator suggests that staffing hours worked continues to rise modestly for both professional and commercial occupations, as a majority of US adults have now received at least one vaccine shot and government restrictions on economic activity continue to lift.
Commercial staffing was up 24% compared to lockdown conditions a year ago, but down 6% compared to the same week two years ago, suggesting that substantial recovery has taken place, as well as further room to grow as the economy fully recovers.
Professional staffing was up 39% y/y compared to a year ago, and up 26% 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 were up double digits compared to both one and two years ago.
The sequential weekly improvement in the Indicator is in line with signs of US labor market improvement, such as weekly claims for unemployment benefits reported by the Labor Department. Weekly claims fell to 473,000 in the week ending May 8th, down from 742,000 at the start of April 2021, and representing the lowest level since the pandemic began.
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.