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Europe – Agency work declines during Q2

26 September 2013

The agency work industry in Europe experienced a decline of -5.1% in the second quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, according to the latest figures from Eurociett. This is the sixth quarter in a row that the industry has witnessed a year-on-year decrease in the number of hours worked within the industry.

The decrease of the industry is between -7.5% and -5% in most of the countries measured. The decline has slowed down in Italy, while quarterly figures from Poland (+14.5%) again mark a significant increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

Quarterly data shows that sales revenue growth went up significantly in Poland (+11.0%), while in Norway it is also positive, albeit slowing down from previous months (+2.3%). In Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden, the decrease seems to have slowed down (-3.5%, -2%, and -4% respectively). France saw a decrease in turnover of -7% compared to the same quarter last year.

In Q2 2013, EU unemployment levels rose by +5.2% compared with the same period in 2012. At the same time the agency work industry in Europe posted a comparable -5.1% decline in hours worked.

The data continues to display an inverse relationship between unemployment levels in the EU and the amount of agency work being carried out. Recent months have displayed negative growth, while at the same time, year-on-year unemployment levels have risen. In other words, rising unemployment does not imply a rising number of agency worker hours.

In Q2 of 2013, Europe measured a year-on-year decline in hours worked by agency workers of -5.1%. In the same period the year-on-year European Union 28 GDP growth also declined by -0.2%. This means that both the decline of agency worker hours worked and the decline of GDP volume slowed down.

These figures show a continuing pattern between the year on year growth rate of EU 28 GDP and evolution of the number of hours worked by agency workers in Europe.

BELGIUM

In June 2013, the number of hours worked by temporary agency workers was -1.14% lower than a month earlier (seasonally adjusted data, corrected for calendar effects). A decrease was observed in the blue collar segment (-1.35%), as in the white collar segment by -0.86%. In comparison with June 2012, the activity in the temporary agency work industry declined by -6.66% (compared to -6.02% in May 2013) resulting from a fall in the blue collar segment (hours worked: -8.90%) and a fall in the white collar segment (-3.32%).

FRANCE

In July 2013, temporary work turnover decreased -7% (year-on-year, number of days work adjusted). In the same time, hours worked dropped by -7.5%. In August, the number of employed temporary workers reduced by -7% (compared to August 2012). In the regional detail, several regions were significantly below the average trend: Nord pas de Calais, Alsace, Haute-Normandie and Bretagne with respectively -11.6%, -12% -10% et -9.6%. Trends in other regions were notably more favourable: Midi Pyrénées and Poitou Charentes with -0.7% and -0.6%. For the first time in the last 19 months, number of temps at work have grown in one region: Champagne Ardenne with +0.3%.

NETHERLANDS

In period 8 (week 29 – 32) the total amount of hours decreased -5% and turnover declined -2%, in comparison with the same period last year. This period had an equal amount of workable days compared to the same period last year, so no correction was applied.

  • The administrative sector decreased -5% in hours and turnover decreased -1%.
  • Hours in the industrial sector decreased -3% and turnover showed a decrease of -1%.
  • Furthermore, the amount of worked hours in the technical sector decreased -7% compared to the same period last year, turnover decreased -5%.
  • For the medical sector the amount of hours showed a decrease of -31% and turnover decreased 27%.

SWEDEN

Turnover in the second quarter of 2013 fell by -4% compared with the same quarter last year, which is a lower rate of decrease than in the first quarter. This represents a slowing down of the downturn that started in Q3 2012. The total turnover in the industry for the second quarter of 2013 amounted to SEK 5.2 billion (€60 million). The largest change is within recruitment, which fell by -22% in the second quarter compared with the same period last year.

The decrease within staffing, the largest service area, was -5%, which is also a weakening trend compared with the decrease in the first quarter. The increase within outsourcing continued, +4%. From an occupational perspective, sales are greatest within industry/manufacturing (25% of total sales), warehousing/logistics (17%), office/administration (15%), accounting/finance (10%) and health/medical care (7%). Compared with the same period last year, the change in the second quarter of 2013 for these areas was industry/manufacturing -8%, warehousing/logistics +6%, office/administration -13%, accounting/finance -7% and health/medical care +5 %.

UK

Temporary/contract staff billings increased for the fourth month running during August. Moreover, the rate of expansion quickened to the fastest since July 1998. Growth of short-term appointments was recorded by approximately 44% of panellists, compared with around 16% that signalled a fall. Higher temp billings were registered in all four English regions during the latest survey period, led by the North.

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