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Temp revenue growth hits highest level in three years: Pulse

December 03, 2018

US temporary staffing revenue growth accelerated at a median 11% year over year in October from September, that is up from 9% in the prior month, according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ Pulse Survey Report of staffing firms released Friday. This is the highest level reported since October 2015.

“October was a robust month for temporary staffing overall with median year-over-year revenue growth spiking to a three-year high of 11%,” SIA Research Analyst Sree Thiyagarajan said. “The healthcare staffing sector indicated a promising month in October, with all segments reporting double-digit growth in revenue from prior year.”

The latest report also found the net proportion of firms reporting an increasing trend in new orders rose to 51% in October — up from 47% in September and higher than the last 12-month average of 46% for this metric. In a bullish sign, a net 65% of IT staffing firms and 54% of healthcare staffing firms reported an increasing trend in new orders. In October, this metric was higher than its 12-month average for IT staffing firms and staffing firms serving the healthcare industry, while it was lower than its 12-month average for industrial staffing firms and staffing firms serving the manufacturing industry.

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

  • Per diem nursing: to 10% from -2%
  • Travel nursing: to 10% from 4%
  • Industrial staffing: to 10% from 5%
  • Finance/accounting: to 7% from 5%
  • Clinical/scientific: to 8% from 6%

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

  • Engineering/design: to 10% from 21%
  • Marketing/creative: to 15% from 26%
  • IT staffing: to 10% from 13%
  • Legal: to 10% from 13%
  • Allied healthcare: to 10% from 11%

Median year-over-year revenue growth stayed the same last month for the office/clerical and locum tenens staffing segments at 4% and 15% respectively.

Median year-over-year revenue growth fell in direct hire to 2% from 9% and edged down in retained search to 27% from 29%

Average sales difficulty increased to 2.60 in October from 2.56 in September (on a five-point scale, with five being most difficult), and average recruiting difficulty increased to 3.46 in October from 3.27 in the survey overall.

Industrial staffing firms reported an increase in recruiting difficulty, while sales difficulty remained the same. IT staffing firms reported a decrease in sales difficulty, while recruiting difficulty increased slightly. The average sales difficulty levels for IT staffing firms reached the lowest level ever reported.

For staffing firms serving the healthcare and manufacturing industry, both average sales and recruiting difficulty levels decreased.

The Pulse Survey also 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 October 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 October was submitted by individuals from 138 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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