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Staffing employment declines in second quarter

2Q/23 staffing sales decreased 9.1% year-to-year

The number of temporary and contract workers employed by U.S. staffing companies declined 4.6% to an average of 2.5 million workers per week from the first to the second quarter of 2023, according to data released by the American Staffing Association.

The decline represents a deviation from the typical pattern of temporary and contract employment in the U.S., in which staffing employment and sales typically decline in the first quarter, grow in subsequent quarters, and peak in the fourth quarter.

In the face of a slowing economy and continued macroeconomic uncertainty, temporary and contract staffing sales also declined by 4.0% during the same period.

Staffing jobs declined 12.2% in the second quarter of 2023 from the same period in 2022, while temporary and contract staffing sales decreased 9.1% over that span to total $35.9 billion in the second quarter of 2023.

Richard Wahlquist headshot

Richard Wahlquist

“The staffing, recruiting, and talent solutions industry faced some headwinds this year as employers across several industry sectors scaled back the massive hiring they undertook in 2021 and much of 2022,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA chief executive officer. “Nevertheless, demand for labor remains healthy, and the staffing industry continues to play an important in providing talent solutions to companies and impactful employment opportunities to millions of American workers every day.

“Looking ahead, survey respondents from private staffing firms are cautiously optimistic about demand picking up, with median projected year-over-year fourth quarter results expected to be flat compared to 2022.”

To learn more about the quarterly ASA Staffing Employment and Sales Survey, visit

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