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Staffing In The US On The Up

ASA Staffing Index Monthly Report - January 2010

Staffing employment in January is 4% higher than in the same month last year, according to the ASA Staffing Index.

As expected, the January index is lower than it was last month. Staffing employment historically peaks in November or December, and is usually at its lowest point in January. The December monthly period closed with the index at 87. Following the New Year's holiday, the index was 78up 5 points from a year ago.

Staffing employment typically drops sharply during the Christmas and New Year's holiday weeks, and the index showed this pattern. The week of Dec. 14, staffing employment fell 1.29%, dropping the index one point to 86. The following two weeks, staffing employment had large consecutive declines of more than 10%, pushing the index down to 69 the week of Dec. 28. The week of Jan. 4, the staffing employment rose sharply by 12.4%, boosting the index up to 78. Staffing employment increased modestly (1.52%) the next week, Jan. 1117, raising the index one point to 79.

The ASA Staffing Index is reported nine days after each workweek, making it a virtual real-time measure of staffing employment trends. The reference level for the index was set at 100 in June 2006. The current level of 79 suggests that staffing employment is 21% lower than in June 2006.
Index weeks containing the 12th are compared monthly to match the reference periods used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly employment situation reports, which contain data on the temporary help industry. Because the same reference period is used in both the ASA Staffing Index and BLS monthly reports, the two data series can be easily compared. ASA data are not adjusted for seasonal factors and should be compared to nonseasonally adjusted BLS data.

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