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Ciett agency worker employment figures show 9.6% industry growth in 2013

The Ciett 2015 Economic Report, released today, demonstrates how the sector, which records &euro415bn in annual global sales revenue, has bounced back following the crisis signalling good news for labour markets and for the economy.

The broadening range of the HR services provided by Ciett members is illustrated by the fact that additional data on permanent recruitment, outplacement, recruitment process outsourcing and on-line recruitment was now included in the report.

In total, 60.9 million people gained access to the labour market through the employment and recruitment industry in 2013. 40.2 million were engaged in agency work available data shows another 17.6 million were directly recruited via search and selection services 1.9 million through Recruitment Process Outsourcing and 1.2 million from outplacement services. As data collection for these services is still nascent, actual figure are likely to be even higher.

While data for 2014 is not yet widely available, it nevertheless shows further improvement and confirms that the employment and recruitment industry has recovered to pre-crisis levels and is playing a pivotal role in getting people into work and keeping them there.

“The report demonstrates the importance of the employment and recruitment industry as labour market intermediaries operating at a global level to match supply with demand in the workplace. The increasing diversification into other services underlines our role as HR solution providers and labour market specialists,” said Denis Pennel, Ciett managing director.

Labour market specialists

There are 260,000 private employment agencies around the world employing 1.66 million staff internally (recruitment consultants, branch managers, back office staff). The industry stays close to the workplace and every branch has a deep knowledge of the local labour market dynamics. The industry represents a very widespread network of labour market specialists offering the full range of HR services including agency work, search and selection, recruitment process outsourcing, outplacement and more. Services aside from agency work grew further in 2013 and the Ciett Economic Report has recorded this data for the first time.

Opportunity for growth

Despite ongoing growth, the penetration of private employment services around the world remains modest with significant scope for evolution. Current figures show the USA as the most developed country with the industry commanding 2.1% of the labour market (the so-called penetration rate) and employing 11 million people. Japan has some 2.4 million agency workers and a 2% labour market penetration. In Europe, agency work has a 1.7% market penetration and employs some 8.7 million people each year.

In terms of sales revenue, agency work commands the greatest share representing 68% of the &euro415bn global turnover. Emerging markets are showing potential for growth with the recruitment and employment industry in China employing 10.8 million people and commanding 17.8% of global sales revenues, while Brazil also holds a significant share with 7% of the global market – largely due to outsourcing. The top 10 markets – USA, China, Japan, UK, Brazil, Germany, France, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia – still represent 90% of total global revenues and hence there may be continued room for the industry to expand in emerging markets.


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