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US temp penetration rate matches all-time high in November

December 06 2013

The U.S. temporary employment penetration rate matched its all-time high of 2.03 percent in November, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The penetration rate is a measure of temp jobs as a percent of total employment, and October’s penetration rate was 2.02 percent based on revised BLS data.

“We have now tied the peak temp penetration rate of 2.03 percent set in April 2000, at the height of the dot-com economic boom,” said Timothy Landhuis, senior research analyst at Staffing Industry Analysts. “We believe the current record high usage of temporary staffing is indicative of a gradual upward secular shift in the acceptance and adoption of temporary staffing, and the role that it plays in giving businesses added flexibility in managing their workforce.”

Temporary employment services jobs rose by 16,400 in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, an increase of 0.6 percent, for a total of 2.78 million jobs.

In addition, the number of temporary jobs in October was revised upward by 21,800 and the number in September was revised upward by 16,000.

On a year-over-year basis, temp jobs were up by 8.6 percent in November.

In overall employment among all industries, the U.S. added 203,000 jobs. And the unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 7.0 percent in November from 7.3 percent in October.

College-level unemployment fell to 3.4 percent in November from 3.8 percent in October. College-level unemployment can serve as a proxy for professional employment.

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