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Beige Book - Demand for temps mixed

March 06 2008

Demand for temporary workers appeared to be mixed, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve Beige Book report released Wednesday. Weaker demand for temporary labor compared with a year ago was cited by the Federal Reserve Districts in Boston, New York, Richmond VA, and Atlanta. However, stable to increased demand was reported by the Cleveland, Chicago, and Dallas districts. Dallas reported increased demand for temporary workers in information technology, engineering, and oil-related services.

A large New York employment agency said there didn't appear to be an increase in the number of job candidates despite announced layoffs at financial firms. The Boston District reported higher demand for temporary labor from the biopharmaceutical and aerospace industries.

Wages and salary pressures were modest and the pace of hiring slowed in several sectors, according to the Beige Book. It said reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts indicate overall economic growth has slowed since the beginning of the year.

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