Contracting achieved record high growth each month in 2013. As employment and economic expert Bruce Steinberg stated in his monthly employment report, its growth "soared" in December with an all-time high of 2,816,600 jobs. The BLS' Employment Situation Summary, reported that "Temporary Help Services" accounted for 40,000 of the 74,000 jobs added to the economy during in December.
The contract staffing penetration rate, which measures what portion of the overall American workforce contract/temporary positions comprise, also hit a record high of 2.06. Contract staffing's year-over-year increase was 10%.
Employer uncertainty continues to be a major driver of this trend. While the economy appears to be improving and the unemployment rate is falling, another debt ceiling feud brewing in Washington is concerning employers. Meanwhile, some more long-term issue are further securing contract staffing's place in the American workforce.
Of particular concern is the increase in employment regulations, which are raising cost and complexity of doing business. Perhaps the best example is the healthcare reform law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare.
These factors have led experts to believe that contract staffing growth will continue through 2014 and beyond. Although companies are reluctant to commit to direct hires, they still need to get work done and are utilizing contractors to do so. Consider these statistics:
- 42% of employers plan to utilize contractors workers this year. Only 26% said they were planning to add direct hires (CareerBuilder)
- 40% of the workforce will be contractors by 2020 (Intuit 2020 Report)
- 75% of the economists surveyed by the Associated Press believe the increased use of contract workers is the start of a long-term trend (Associated Press)
If you are not already offering contract staffing as a recruiter, it is clear that now is the time to start. Your clients need contractors. They would rather get them from you because you already have an established relationship. But if you cannot provide contractors, they will find a recruiter who can . . . and they may give the new recruiter their direct hire placements as well. The key to success and maintaining strong client relationships is to become a sole-source provider who is ready and able to solve all their staffing challenges.