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Oklahoma City's Express Employment Professionals sales top $2.5 billion in 2013

Privately held staffing company Express Employment Professionals said its franchises generated $2.5 billion in sales and added 75 new offices in 2013.

Oklahoma City-based Express said sales rose 8 percent from the $2.3 billion recorded by franchises in 2012. The company helped more than 395,000 people find work last year, up from 367,000 in 2012.

The company said it expects sales growth of 10 percent in 2014 based on the continued demand for temporary workers. It has 675 offices in the United States, Canada and South Africa, and plans to add another 100 offices in 2014. Key expansion areas include Nevada, California and Illinois.

Bob Funk, Express CEO and chairman of the board, said the company posted the highest sales results in its 30-year history.

“Our focus on educating and informing job seekers and the upcoming workforce about the best and most lucrative job opportunities will help reduce unemployment and provide hope to more people for the future,” Funk said.

Express said its growth has come along with a shift in hiring practices, as employers are increasingly relying on temporary workers for flexibility in changing market conditions.

IT, accounting popular

Funk said information technology and accounting are among the jobs where staffing firms are seeing the most demand. Jobs in manufacturing also have rebounded after the recent recession.

“We're seeing it across a pretty broad base, including places like Detroit, Tennessee and a little in California, although firms there are concerned about higher taxes,” Funk said. “Texas and Oklahoma have also been strong, and we're up 125 percent since the Great Recession in 2009.”

Funk said the staffing industry is a leading indicator of where the labor market is headed in the next six to nine months. He said recent declines in the nation's unemployment rate don't appear to be as robust as what he's seen in hiring trends.

Small- and medium-size businesses are uncertain about the direction of the economy and the effects of the Affordable Care Act on their costs, Funk said.

“That's good for our business, but I don't think it's good for America in general,” he said.



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