While we may not want to admit it, “recession” is the buzzword of the day. People across the country have had to do more with less, some have lost their jobs, and many companies are hesitant to hire new employees. Minnesota currently ranks 13th in the percentage of unemployed individuals at 7 percent. However, staffing companies appear to be a beacon of hope in the midst of economic crisis. Experts believe that increases in staffing employment are an indication of a rebounding economy.
For years, researchers have argued in favor of staffing firms and their ability to gauge economic vitality. Some go further to suggest that increases in staffing jobs are key indicators of an end to a recession. These times being some of the most difficult in recent memory, a favorable increase in staffing jobs can be seen as a light at the end of the tunnel. “A sustained upturn in temporary help employment would signal the end of the current recession,” note researchers on behalf of the American Staffing Association. ASA’s report further indicates that the economy would start to rebound within three months of a sustained upturn, based on statistical trends from the last three recessions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released welcome news earlier this month, reporting that for the period between December 2009 and January 2010, temporary employment increased by some 250,000 jobs. This increase in staffing employment makes last month the best January in over twenty years, according the BLS. Further, temporary employment has been on a steady increase since September 2009. This means companies are becoming more confident in the strength of the economy, have increased workloads, and are looking for temporary solutions to improve workflow.
Staffing firms to the rescue! Recent activity in quite a few economic sectors indicate that companies are seeking temporary workers to fulfill vital functions, notes John Henka, sales manager for Midwest Staffing. “Some of our largest clients really ramped up in January,” he said. “These companies are starting to see that we act as a buffer, allowing them to hire employees on a temporary basis with the option of becoming permanent.” John said that he has seen an increase in staffing requests in manufacturing and government sectors; the medical and food industries are also gaining considerable speed.
Whether all this spells an end to the deepest recession since the Great Depression is yet to be determined. “My hope is that the national upturn in staffing employment will have a ripple effect and a lasting impact,” said Jeff Merwin, business development specialist for Midwest Staffing. “Right now, I am planting seeds by telling clients how we can help them when things turn around.” If current trends in staffing employment continue to remain stable—and, hopefully, increase—the American economy may be well on its way to a full recovery.