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US - Temp jobs added, but penetration rate drops

November 08 2013

Temporary employment services jobs rose by only 3,300 in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the year-over-year growth rate ticked down for the first time since June. And the temporary penetration rate — temporary help jobs divided by total nonfarm employment — was little changed after nearing an all-time high in September.

The temporary penetration rate was 2.00 percent in October, down from 2.01 percent in September. The all-time high is 2.03 percent.

September’s initially reported temporary penetration rate was 2.02 percent — very near the record. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised down the number of temporary employment services jobs in September by 14,900 from its initial report for that month. It also lowered the number of temp jobs in August by 6,100.

There was a total of approximately 2.7 million temp jobs in October.

The year-over-year growth rate ticked down to 8.19 percent in October from 8.45 percent in September.

Total nonfarm employment rose by 204,000 to approximately 136.55 million. The number was healthier than expected, the New York Times reported.

On the flip side, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent in October from 7.2 percent in September.

And college-level unemployment has been rising. The college-level unemployment rate rose to 3.8 percent in October from 3.7 percent in September and 3.5 percent in August. College-level unemployment can serve as a proxy for professional employment.

Today’s jobs report was delayed one week because of the government shutdown.

Corporate members of Staffing Industry Analysts can see a more detailed analysis of the jobs report by Research Associate Theo Vadpey by clicking here.

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