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Temp Jobs Roughly Flat; Penetration Rate Slips

January 04 2013

The number of temporary jobs in the U.S. was roughly flat in December after rising since September, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the temporary employment penetration rate — temp jobs as a percent of total employment — slipped to 1.90 percent in December from 1.91 percent in November.

Temporary help services jobs totaled approximately 2.5 million in December. That was roughly flat compared to November, but the previous month’s temp job number was revised down by 10,100 from the earlier reported number.

Still, temp jobs had risen by 153,400 in December when compared with December 2011.

Meanwhile, “employment services industry” jobs fell by 8,300 in December to approximately 3.2 million. The employment services industry is a broader category that includes temporary help services as well as jobs in employment placements agencies, executive search services and professional employer organizations.

Total U.S. nonfarm employment rose by 155,000 in December for a total of 134.0 million.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December, unchanged from November.

The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, was 3.9 percent in December, unchanged from November and up from 3.7 percent in October.


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