Industry at a Glance

Jobs
We are the jobs people. Staffing companies match millions of people to millions of jobs.

  • 2.80 million people are employed by staffing companies every business day.
  • 12.9 million temporary and contract employees are hired by U.S. staffing firms over the course of a year.
  • 79% of staffing employees work full time, virtually the same as the rest of the work force.

Flexibility
The staffing industry offers flexibility to both employees and companies. People can choose when, where, and how they want to work. Companies can get the skills they need to keep fully staffed during busy times.

  • 66% of staffing employees say flexible work time is important to them.
  • 64% of staffing employees report that their work gives them the scheduling flexibility and the time for family that they desire.
  • 90% of client businesses say staffing companies give them flexibility to keep fully staffed during busy times.

Bridge
Temporary and contract work provides a bridge to permanent employment. People can try out a prospective employer and showcase their skills for a permanent job.

  • 88% of staffing employees say temporary or contract work made them more employable.
  • 77% of staffing employees say it is a good way to obtain a permanent job.
  • 80% of staffing clients say staffing firms offer a good way to find people who can become permanent employees.

Choice
Many people choose temporary and contract work as an employment option. They can select their work schedules and choose among a variety of diverse and challenging assignments.

  • 67% of staffing employees say choice of assignments was an important factor in their job decision.
  • 23% of staffing employees have little or no interest in a permanent job-they prefer the alternative arrangement to traditional employment.
  • 33% of staffing employees say they work for a staffing company because they like the diversity and challenge of different jobs.

Training
The staffing industry provides free training for millions of temporary and contract employees to help meet today's demand for skilled workers.

  • 90% of staffing companies provide free training to their temporary and contract employees.
  • 65% of staffing employees say they developed new or improved work skills through their assignments.
  • 40% of staffing employees say they choose temporary or contract work as a way to obtain employment experience or job training.

How big is the industry?
The staffing industry generated approximately $109.8 billion in sales in 2011: $98.3 billion from temporary and contract staffing and $11.5 billion in search and permanent placement services.

What accounts for the growth of the industry? 
America's work force is changing as more and more people are looking for the flexibility that temporary work provides. Companies are tapping into the flexible labor market to keep fully staffed during busy times.

Do staffing firms charge employees a fee for temporary assignments?
No.

How long do people hold temporary jobs?
While specific jobs may last from a few hours to several years, the best estimates for the average tenure of temporary and contract employees range from three to four months.

What types of assignments do staffing companies offer?
Jobs range from day laborer to CEO and are available in virtually all occupations.

What are the trends in the kinds of jobs that are assigned?
The fastest growth is occurring in professional and technical occupations.

How many staffing companies are there in the U.S.?
According to the most current U.S. Economic Census data available, there were about 17,000 staffing firms, which were in business for a year or more during 2007. Those companies operated approximately 35,000 offices.

What kind of pay and benefits do temporary and contract employees receive?
To attract the most qualified employees, staffing services offer highly competitive wages and benefits. The average temporary or contract employee earns around $12 per hour. Some earn more than their permanent counterparts. Most staffing companies offer health insurance as well as vacation and holiday pay, and many offer retirement plans. Virtually any temporary or contract employee who wants benefits can find a staffing firm that offers them.

What kinds of services do staffing companies provide?
Staffing companies offer a wide range of employment-related services, including temporary and contract staffing, recruiting and permanent placement, outsourcing and outplacement, training, and human resources consulting.


  - Sources: American Staffing Association, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census, Staffing Industry Analysts