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Europe - Staffing industry up +8% y-o-y in June 2011

20 September 2011

The staffing industry in Europe grew by +8% in June 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. The sector has experienced fifteen months of continuous year-on-year growth. The most recent data from the European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Eurociett) suggests that while the recovery is continuing, it is doing so at a slower pace than in previous months.

This is in part because the level of agency work is nearing pre-crisis levels across Europe. Agency work increased by +20.3% in Italy compared with June 2010, while agency work grew by +12.8% in Belgium during the same period. In the second quarter of 2011, Poland displayed an increase of +33.0% while agency work in Norway increased by +8.1% compared to the same period in 2010.

The year-on-year evolution of sales revenues in France saw an increase of +17.6% in June 2011. Turnover also rose in Belgium (+8%), and the Netherlands (+8%). Q2 turnover in Sweden was up +26% compared to the same period in 2010 while in the same period turnover in Poland and the Republic of Ireland rose by +17% and +13.7% respectively. The evolution of turnover displays a similar trend to hours worked with slowing growth for the industry.

In June 2011, unemployment in the entire European Union (EU27) fell by -2.1% compared with the same period in 2010. At the same time agency work posted a +8% rise in hours worked. The data points to a continuation of the inverse relationship between unemployment levels in the EU and the amount of agency work being carried out.

In Q2 of 2011, Europe measured a year-on-year rise in hours worked by agency workers of +13%. In the same period the year-on-year growth rate of EU27 GDP growth was +1.7%. These figures show a continuing pattern between the year-on-year growth rate of EU27 GDP and evolution of the number of hours worked by agency workers in Europe.

Belgium

In June 2011, the number of hours worked by temporary agency workers was +2.57% higher than a month earlier (seasonally adjusted data, corrected for calendar effects). An increase was observed in both segments. Activity in the blue collar segment increased by +2.20%, and activity in the white collar segment increased by +3.14%. In comparison with June 2010, the activity in the temporary agency work industry grew by +12.76% (compared to +6.97% in May 2011). This result was driven by a rise both in the blue collar segment (hours worked: +13.93%) and in the white collar segment (+10.89%)

France

In July 2011, turnover of temporary work sector has improved +10% (year-on- year). In the same time, number of hours worked has increased by 6.5%. During the first seven months, turnover has risen +17% (in comparison with the first seven months of 2010). For the 18th consecutive month, temporary employment has improved in July and August (in comparison with July and August 2010). With +6.2% in July and +3.8% in August, the growth trend has declined, in part because of the base effect. In addition, trends in July and August that could be unusual should be interpreted carefully. In the geographic detail, Franche Comté, Midi Pyrénées, Alsace, Pays de la Loire and Picardie with growth of around +10%, have been the most dynamic regions.

Netherlands

In period 6 (week 21 to 24) the total number of hours increased +6% and turnover grew +8% as well, in comparison with the same period last year. This period had one workable day less compared to the same period last year, for this a correction was applied. For the medical sector the number of hours showed a decrease of -6% and turnover decreased -8%. The administrative sector increased +1% in hours and turnover increased with +4%. Hours in the industrial sector increased +7% and turnover showed an increase of +9% as well.

The number of worked hours in the technical sector increased +20% compared with the same period last year, turnover increased +21%. With rounding off period 6, the figures of the first half year of 2011 are complete. On average the total number of hours increased +8% and total turnover showed a similar increase. The first half year of 2011 had two more workable days compared to 2010, so a correction was applied. The medical sector finishes the first half year of 2011 with a decrease of -11% in hours and -15% in turnover.

The hours in the administrative sector remained the same compared with the same period last year and turnover increased +1%. The industrial sector increased +12% in hours and +13% in turnover in comparison with the same period last year. An increase of +25% in hours was reached by the technical sector, turnover increased +23%.

Poland

The total turnover of agencies in the second quarter of 2011 reached a record level of 113 million Euro and compared with Q1 of 2011 increased by +3%. Comparing year-on-year (Q2 2011 to Q2 2010) there is growth of +17%. Turnover for the first half of 2011 amounted to 22 million Euro and was +21% higher than turnover for the first half of 2010. The increase in turnover from quarter to quarter is not as big as it was in previous periods, which indicates that the market for employment agencies in Poland have already recovered the losses caused by the slowdown and growing at a moderate pace.

Sweden

Revenues generated by staffing agencies in Sweden were up by +26% to 590 million Euro in Q2 2011 when compared with Q2 2010. This was the industry's highest turnover since records began.

All regions displayed a positive trend during the second quarter of 2011. Revenues generated by staffing agencies in Western Sweden increased most substantially with +53%. Central Sweden increased by +37%, followed by Southern Sweden with an increase of +25% while the capital Stockholm displayed a more modest upturn of +9%.

During the second quarter of 2011 sales increased in all service areas apart from outplacement, which decreased by -62% compared with the same period last year.

The main reason for the substantial fall in outplacement revenues was the fact that one large but unnamed staffing agency has adjusted its definition of outplacement and now reports these figures under the outsourcing service area. As a result, outsourcing increased by +123%, thereby accounting for the most substantial increase.

Revenues generated by temporary staffing services were up by +27% in Q2 2011 when compared with Q2 2010, which makes it the largest sector in the staffing industry with a share of 91% of total revenues generated.

Recruitment was up by +36% in Q2 2011 when compared with Q2 2010.

UK

Report on Jobs published by the REC and KPMG signalled slower increases in both permanent staff placements and temporary/contract staff billings during June. The latest expansions were the least marked for twenty two and eight months respectively. Contributing to the weaker growth of staff appointments was a further softening of demand for staff in June. Permanent staff vacancies rose at the slowest pace in six months, while short-term staff vacancies increased at the weakest rate since November 2010. Recruitment consultants signalled a further weakening of pay pressures in June. The rates of inflation of both permanent staff salaries and temporary/contract staff wages were only marginal. Staff availability showed a further moderate improvement in June. Faster rates of growth were recorded for both permanent and temporary/contract candidate availability.

To read the full report please click here

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