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Spending on temporary staffing to grow by 11%: SIA forecast

Companies’ spending on US temporary staffing is set to grow this year. Temporary staffing revenue will rise by 11% this year to a total of $134.7 billion — surpassing the pre-pandemic level in 2019, according to the “US staffing industry forecast: April 2021 update” report released Tuesday by SIA.

“Our biannual staffing industry forecast report is a must-have guide for contingent workforce managers that enables them to benchmark trends in their program with trends in the US staffing industry at large,” said Timothy Landhuis, director of research, North America, SIA. “The report is an authoritative gauge of rates of growth and decline in overall spending on temporary agency workers in twelve major occupational segments, along with commentary on key trends for 2021 and 2022 in each segment.”

Temporary staffing revenue had fallen by 8% last year last year as Covid-19 took hold and measures to fight the disease also hit the economy. The slowdown hit many parts of the economy.

SIA’s new forecast assumes strong GDP growth as more people become vaccinated, the economy re-opens and the federal government’s fiscal and monetary measures help spur economic growth.

IT staffing revenue is forecast to grow 9% this year and by 6% in 2022. IT proved to be among the most resilient of staffing sectors; it fell by just 5% in 2020. The relative outperformance led IT staffing to become the largest industry segment in 2020 in terms of revenue.

Industrial staffing revenue is projected to grow by 16% after falling by 12% in 2020. The report noted a candidate shortage in industrial staffing during the pandemic caused by skills mismatch, lack of transportation or childcare, fears of contracting Covid and additional unemployment benefits.

The quickest growth is in education temporary staffing where revenue is projected to rise by 25% this year. On the flip side, travel nurse staffing had surged in 2020 with growth of 35% as healthcare facilities scrambled to meet the needs of the pandemic. This year, travel nurse revenue is expected to grow by 10% before declining by 20% in 2022.

Separately, direct-hire revenue is projected to rise by 15% this year and retained search revenue is expected to rise by 15% as well.

The complete report [1] is available to CWS Council members [2].

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