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Europe – Staffing markets show mixed performance

14 December 2012

After a number of recruitment agencies have experienced worse market conditions in Europe with many seeing lower sales figures throughout the year, new research now shows that the staffing industry has not been able to escape further declines.

The European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Eurociett) found in its latest Agency Work Business Indicator that temporary billings dropped on average by -9.2% in September across 10 European countries, including major staffing markets such as France, Germany and the Netherlands.

“This is the ninth month in a row that the industry has witnessed a year-on-year decrease in the number of hours worked,” the report said.

Compared to the same period in the prior year, activity in the staffing industry, in terms of hours worked, has fallen sharply in Italy (-11.6%), France (-11.5%) and Germany (-10.0%) during September. Recruiters in Belgium (-6.9%) and the Netherlands (-4.0%) reported somewhat smaller reductions in the month.

Switzerland surprisingly bucked the trend and posted a positive growth rate in September (+0.4%) with news yesterday also showing that the country may be on its way to recovery. Norway reported the highest growth rate in hours worked in the third quarter of the year (+6.3%).

The report also offers an insight into recent sales figures compared to the prior year. Belgium (-5.2%), France (-8.0%), the Netherlands (-3.0%) and Sweden (-2.0%) are among the countries reporting a drop in turnover while staffing companies posted revenue growth in Norway (+9.7%) and Poland (+0.5%).

Click here to view the report.


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