Survey: Staffing Growth Moderates in 2006

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<p><b>Alexandria, Va. &mdash; Feb. 28</b><br />America&#39;s staffing companies employed an average of 2.96 million temporary and contract workers per day in 2006, an increase of 1.8 percent over the previous year, according to data released by the American Staffing Association (ASA).</p> <p>&quot;Staffing firms added just over 50,000 jobs to the economy in 2006,&quot; said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and CEO. &quot;However, while temporary and contract employment growth moderated last year to a pace on par with overall employment growth, our members continued to report increased and growing demand for permanent placement and temp-to-hire services.&quot;</p> <p>Based on data from ASA quarterly surveys, the association estimates America&#39;s staffing companies employed 12.4 million temporary and contract workers during 2006, an increase of 300,000 over the previous year. </p><p>About 4.4 million of those employees secured permanent jobs.</p> <p>&quot;America&#39;s staffing companies help workers find permanent jobs and help businesses find qualified talent, and staffing firms offer workforce flexibility for businesses and employment flexibility for employees who prefer flexible work arrangements,&quot; Wahlquist said.</p><p>U.S. annual sales for temporary and contract staffing totaled $72.3 billion in 2006, according to ASA survey data, surpassing the 2005 sales record by 4.1 percent.</p> <p>The survey results show average daily employment during the fourth quarter of 2006 totaled 3.07 million, down 1.5 percent from the same period in 2005. </p><p>Temporary and contract staffing sales in the fourth quarter hit a high of $18.6 billion, exceeding the previous year&#39;s fourth quarter record by 0.7 percent.</p>

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