Temporary help employment slipped to 2.52 million in August, down by 4,900 from July, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, July’s increase in temp jobs was cut to 6,700 from the initially reported gain of 14,100.
Temporary employment as a percent of total employment — the temporary help penetration rate — slipped to 1.89 percent in August from 1.90 percent in July.
However, employment rose by 6,700 jobs, or 0.4 percent, in the “employment services industry” to 3.2 million. The employment services industry is a broader category that includes temporary help services as well as jobs in employment placements agencies, executive search services and professional employer organizations.
Total nonfarm employment disappointed in August with the U.S., adding only 96,000 jobs for total employment of 133.3 million, seasonally adjusted.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent in July, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the BLS. However, the labor force participation rate declined. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, was unchanged in August at 4.1 percent.
Some of the industries that did add jobs, according to the BLS, include healthcare (+17,000 jobs in August), computer systems design and related services (+11,000) and technical consulting services (+9,000).