Briefing: February 5, 2014

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Temp Bill Rates Should Rise in 2014

Bill rates for U.S. contingent labor rose little in 2013 despite temporary help agency employment setting record volumes, according to the IQNdex report by IQNavigator, a vendor management system provider.

The Master IQNdex for the U.S., which tracks the direction of temporary labor bill rates, rose only 0.7 percent in 2013. It was the least upward movement in the index since 2010 and down from a 2.7 percent increase in 2012. Most change occurred in the first half of the year, followed by a flat second half, according to the report.

“It was a labor buyer’s market in 2013, with temp bill rates remaining largely unchanged,” said Gary Pollard, vice president, information products at IQNavigator. “Looking ahead, however, our analysis predicts that contingent labor bill rates will experience upward pressure in the latter half of 2014, starting with roles that require greater education or specialized technical skills.”

Insights by job sector include:

  • Technical-IT, up 3.3 percent: Reflecting increased business investment, the technical-IT job sector continued to see the most consistent upward rate pressure, rising 21 of the past 24 months.
  • Light industrial, up 3.3 percent: Selected jobs within the light industrial sector experienced significant fluctuations in 2013, rising or falling 15 percent, with the net change across the sector up 3.3 percent, or less than one dollar per hour.
  • Office-clerical, down 0.7 percent: Bill rates were flat throughout most of the country in 2013, however, lower rates for assignments in the Northeast resulted in a 0.7 percent decline across the sector.
  • Professional-managerial, down 3.2 percent: Rates continued a trend toward lower cost roles within the mix of jobs in this diverse job sector, with some titles experiencing a decline in rates upward of 13 percent.

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