Eurociett February 2014 Agency Work Business Indicator
This is the third month in a row that shows an increasing and positive growth, with a European average now at 3.8%. The newly available and very positive figures from Poland form a significant part (almost half) of that growth, while also in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy growth has expanded. From the countries that were able to report new data, only Switzerland experienced a further downturn, from -2.4% to -7.1% y-o-y growth.
EVOLUTION OF AGENCY WORK SALES REVENUES IN EUROPE
Turnover is mostly growing at a slightly higher growth rate than the number of hours worked, while growth is also accelerating in most countries. Again, Poland is the country reporting the most significant growth with 33.9%, while Norway is the only country reporting a slight decrease in turnover in Q4.
HOURS WORKED’S CORRELATION WITH UNEMPLOYMENT AND GDP STATISTICS
In the last quarter of 2013, EU unemployment levels rose by 1.9%. This is clearly a slowing down compared to previous periods. This coincides with cautious growth in hours worked by agency workers, which now sees positive growth for the third month in a row. The data continues to display an inverse relationship between unemployment levels in the EU and the amount of agency work being carried out. This implies that agency work is a leading indicator of employment. When agency work grows, employment levels will generally start improving within 3-6 months. In other words, more hours worked by agency workers does not imply rising unemployment.
In the third quarter of 2013 both GDP growth and evolution of hours worked were positive again for the first time in almost two years. These figures show a continuing pattern between the year on year growth rate of EU 28 GDP and evolution of the number of hours worked by agency workers in Europe, meaning that agency work is still a coincidental economic indicator of GDP growth.
EUROCIETT NATIONAL FEDERATION COMMENTS
In January 2014, the number of hours worked by temporary agency workers was 0.49% higher than a month earlier (seasonally adjusted data, corrected for calendar effects). An increase was observed in the blue collar segment by 1.78%, a decrease was observed in the white collar segment by -1.29%. In comparison with January 2013, the activity in the temporary agency work industry grew by 2.85% (compared to 0.42% in December 2013) resulting from a rise in the blue collar segment (hours worked: 7.58%) and a fall in the white collar segment (- 2.78%).
In December 2013, temporary work turnover increased 3% (year on year, number of days work adjusted). In the same time, number of hours worked raised by 2.5%. During the year 2013, turnover has decreased -6% and hours worked has decreased -6.7%. In January 2014, number of temps at work has reduced by 5.3% (in comparison with January 2013). This decline has been amplified by the trend of the first week. The position of holiday this year (January 1st) has particularly penalized the month activity. In the detail, Southern regions (PACA and Languedoc Roussillon) have underperformed with respectively -12.2% and -15.5%.
In period 1 (week 1 – 4) the total amount of hours increased 3% and turnover grew 4%, in comparison to the same period last year. This period had an equal amount of workable days compared to the same period last year, so no correction was applied. • The administrative sector increased 9% in hours and also turnover grew 9% in comparison to the same period in 2013. • Hours in the industrial sector decreased 1% and turnover increased 1% compared to the same period last year. • Furthermore, the amount of worked hours in the technical sector increased 3% and turnover increased 2%.
Q3 2013 (quarter 3 July-Sept) for the staffing industry can be characterised by the following examples, compared with Q3 of 2012: • 0.7% increase in sales to over SEK 5 billion • 10% increase in sales in Northern Sweden • 10% increase in sales of outsourcing • 6% increase in sales within industry • 14% increase in sales within health/medical care • 10% increase in sales within warehousing/logistics
Agencies’ billings from the employment of temporary/contract staff increased further in December. Having accelerated since November, the rate of expansion was the sharpest in over 15 years. Survey respondents commented that growth of temp billings reflected a combination of greater demand from existing clients and the securing of new contracts. Mirroring the trend observed for permanent staff, the fastest growth of temp billings in December was recorded in the Midlands, while the North posted the second-sharpest rise.