ASA Staffing Index at 82-Week High
The American Staffing Association released its weekly update today on hiring trends for temporary help and contract work, with the following comment:
"During the week of June 7–13, 2010, temporary and contract employment increased 1.96%, pushing the index up one point to a value of 90. At a current index value of 90, U.S. staffing employment is 30% higher than the level reported for the first week of the current year and is 25% higher than the same weekly period in 2009."
MP: For the 22 weeks since the beginning of the year, the ASA staffing index has increased (or stayed the same) for 20 of those weeks, and declined in only two. The index values of 90 for both the week of May 17 and the week of June 7 mark the first time in 82 weeks (since the week of November 10, 2008) that the ASA index has been at the 90 level. While still below 2008 levels, the gradual upward trend in the staffing index starting about a year ago signals gradual, but ongoing improvements in the labor market for temporary positions and contract work.
Temporary help employment tracked by the ASA is considered to be an accurate leading indicator of employment trends. According to the ASA, temporary job increases typically lead gains in broader employment growth by three months when the economy is emerging from a recession (see chart above), and the continuing strength in temporary hiring hopefully signals future employment growth for the U.S. economy.