Staffing industry consultant G.Palmer & Associates has scaled back its growth forecast for temp employment. From an initial 10.5% growth for the first quarter of the year, the firm now predicts temp employment will increase by a still ambitious 8.6%.
The firm said the revision reflects recomputed numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which resulted in a lowering of the previously reported temp job counts.
Annually in February, the BLS recomputes the previous year’s numbers, making adjustments to overall totals, as well as to industry-by-industry counts. In this case, the changes to temp employment reduced the total increase by 82,500 jobs.
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Now, the Palmer firm’s recalculated forecast means the 1st quarter temp employment will average 2.932 million workers over the three months. That means temp agencies will need to bring on more than 70,000 more temps this quarter to hit the forecast target.
However, the quarter got off to a slow start, as the initial BLS report showed temp agencies shed 4,100 workers. That number is likely to be adjusted when the government issues its monthly report for February on Friday. Each monthly report not only is an initial snapshot of employment in the previous month, but it typically includes revisions to numbers from the previous two months.