The importance of a flexible workforce to get the job done cannot be over-emphasized. Large corporations have jumped on this bandwagon as data from Staffing Industry Analysts indicate that companies report contingent workers comprise 22% of their total workforce — 50% of whom are procured from staffing firms. Such statistics help enterprises navigate the talent landscape as the economy twists and turns, winding its way between the gig economy to regulatory uncertainty.

Let’s examine some other SIA research as well. As CW programs become larger and more sophisticated, relying on the staffing industry for talent, the industry has correspondingly grown. It’s little surprise then that the staffing industry is expected to generate almost $147 billion in revenue in 2018, up from $113 billion in 2012 — a 30% overall increase. Staffing Industry Analysts’ recently released April 2017 Staffing Industry Forecast provides this and other valuable data for the ecosystem across 23 staffing market categories.

Temporary worker data from SIA — The Temporary Worker Survey 2017— reveals that most temporary workers surveyed either were not aware of

or not interested in working via the human cloud. In fact only 9.2% report having earned any income from it. Staffing firms were a different cup of tea being popular with temporary workers. The share of staffing firm temp workers in the US workforce is at peak levels, reports the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Market Segments: What Lies Ahead

SIA’s forecast can inform you on what to be prepared for in the months ahead in the labor market. For example, the temporary staffing and place and search markets will both grow 3% in 2017, a downward adjustment from the prior forecasted growth rate of 4% in the September 2016 report. Travel nursing and education (which are extremely specialized) will grow, while the office/clerical and legal segments will decline.

Expect demand in engineering and industrial to increase later in 2017 and 2018 as the Trump administration drives infrastructure projects. IT demand will continue to grow, but changes to the H-1B visa policies may greatly affect your ability to get the talent you need. CIO Magazine listed the top five IT skills in 2017 as full-stack developer, project manager, cybersecurity, networking developers and UI/UX designers/developers.

Scarcity of Talent

A continued low unemployment rate may affect temporary staffing growth and access to contingent labor, despite positive industry sentiment, says SIA Research Manager Timothy Landhuis. Scarce talent may affect suppliers’ ability to find and retain workers, so now is the time to make sure your suppliers are positioned as an employer of choice when it comes to your talent needs.

Problems aside, the US staffing market is on track to hit record size in terms of revenue in the next two years, according to SIA President Barry Asin. Use the data to position your program, your company and your suppliers to be in the lead.