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IT and industrial sectors drive temp revenue growth in September: Pulse

November 02, 2018

US temporary staffing revenue growth remained at a median 9% year over year in September from August, the same rate as the prior month, according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ Pulse report survey of staffing firms, released this week.

“Temporary staffing revenue continued to show strong growth in September, with IT and industrial staffing sectors as major drivers of growth,” SIA Research Analyst Sree Thiyagarajan said.

Average sales difficulty decreased to 2.56 in September from 2.76 in August (on a five-point scale, with five being most difficult), and average recruiting difficulty edged down to 3.27 in September from 3.35 in the survey overall. Industrial and IT staffing firms reported a decrease in both sales and recruiting difficulty levels. The average sales difficulty levels for IT staffing firms reached the lowest level reported since May 2015.

For staffing firms serving the healthcare industry, average sales difficulty increased, while recruiting difficulty decreased. For staffing firms serving the manufacturing industry, average sales difficulty decreased, while recruiting difficulty increased.

Median year-over-year revenue growth accelerated in the following staffing segments in September from August:

  • Engineering/design: to 21% from 7%
  • IT staffing: to 13% from 9%
  • Industrial staffing: to 5% from 4%
  • Clinical/scientific: to 6% from 5%
  • Marketing/creative: to 26% from 25%

Median year-over-year revenue growth decelerated in the following staffing segments in September from August:

  • Locum tenens: to 15% from 29%
  • Per diem nursing: to -2% from 5%
  • Finance/accounting: to 5% from 11%
  • Allied healthcare: to 11% from 16%
  • Travel nursing: to 4% from 8%
  • Legal: to 13% from 15%
  • Office/clerical: to 4% from 5%

Median year-over-year revenue growth fell in direct hire to 9% from 16%; however, it rose in retained search to 29% from 12%.

The September report also found the net proportion of firms reporting an increasing trend in new orders fell to 47% in September — down from 51% in August but roughly the same level as the last 12-month average of 46% for this metric. In a bullish sign, a net 60% of industrial staffing firms reported an increasing trend in new orders. In September, this metric was higher than its 12-month average for staffing firms serving the healthcare industry; it was roughly the same as its average for industrial staffing firms, but lower than its average for IT staffing firms and staffing firms serving the manufacturing industry.

A bullish sign was that a net 60% of industrial staffing firms reported an increasing trend in new orders. Another positive sign was that a net 19% of industrial staffing firms indicated an increasing trend in bill rates, a proportion roughly in line with the net 20% of firms in the overall survey.

The Pulse survey also now covers metrics by company size — including median year-over-year revenue growth, bill rates, new order trends, and sales and recruiting difficulties. US temporary staffing revenue rose a median 17% year over year in September for survey respondents with $10 million or less in US staffing revenue; 9% for those with $11 million to $200 million; and 4% at firms with more than $200 million in revenue.

Pulse survey results are based on a monthly survey of US staffing firms. Information from the month of September was submitted by individuals from 134 staffing companies. Corporate members of SIA can view a high-level summary of the report, and the full report is available to participants.

It’s free to take part, and the next Pulse Survey is currently underway. Participate now by selecting this link.

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