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Europe - Staffing agencies continue to create jobs as unemployment rises

09 November 2011

The agency work industry in Europe grew by +4.7% in August 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. The sector has experienced seventeen months of continuous year-on-year growth, according to new data published by the European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Eurociett).

The most recent data suggests that growth is continuing at a reduced level compared with previous months. This mirrors the evolution in unemployment figures across the European Union (EU), which rose to over 23 million. Agency work increased by +12.8% in Italy compared with August 2010, while agency work grew by +8.3% in Switzerland during the same period.

Denis Pennel, Eurociett Managing Director, commented "even as unemployment levels are on the rise, the agency work industry has continued to create new jobs for people around Europe. For the past 17 months the sector has reported more hours worked than in the previous year."

As for evolution of sales revenues of the agency work industry at national level, highest growth was recorded in Sweden (+18% y-o-y in Q3), Norway (+7.4% y-o-y in Q3) and Belgium (+9% y-o-y in August). Slower evolution of turnover can be witnessed in France (+4.5% y-o-y in August) and the Netherlands (+5% y-o-y in August). The evolution of turnover displays a similar trend to hours worked with slowing growth for the industry.

In August, EU 27 unemployment levels rose by +0.1% compared with the same period in 2010. At the same time agency work posted a +4.7% rise 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.

The EU27 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK).

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