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Working Knowledge

Temporary help down slightly in 2019. Positive outlook for 2020.

Jan 30, 2020 3:51:36 PM

The utilization of temporary help dipped slightly in 2019, reflecting a decrease of 0.5% when compared to 2018. According to the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (DOL/BLS), temporary help was one of only two groups reflecting an employment decline. However, utilization was not constant throughout the year, reflecting a continuous decline during the first half of the year followed by improvements through October (numbers for November and December are being adjusted by the DOL/BLS). The growth is primarily attributed to stimulatory monetary actions by the Federal Reserve.

According to the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), 2019 also marked the first time in a decade in which an equal number of firms reported a decrease in workforce population as those reporting an increase. However, those reporting a decrease attributed it to difficulty in finding qualified workers. A survey of 97 NABE members indicated that actions taken to address the workforce shortages include raising wages (47%), training of internal staff (44%), and investing in labor savings processes (36%).


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