While the 'boom' after the prior recession was short, and driven more by leverage and spending beyond means than by anything of substance, the current turmoil is enough to make us nostalgic for any recovery. So let's take a trip down memory lane, and look at how much temp employment bounced back the last time around.
The prior recession lasted from March 2001 to November 2001, per the National Bureau of Economic Research. The economic recovery that kicked off in 2001 was driven more by productivity at first, as employment continued to decline. After reaching its trough in June, 2003, total employment increased by more than 1.6 billion over the next year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ten percent of that increase was in temporary services not bad considering the penetration rate has never hit 2.1%. In the second and third years of recovery, temp made up 7% and 5% of employment gains, respectively.
This recession is certainly different from the prior one; the recovery might very well be different, too. If history is any indicator, however, once employment begins to hit its trough, buckle your seatbelts. Temporary staffing could be in for quite a ride, with the most opportunity in the first year.