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Eurociett publishes February 2015 Agency Work Business Indicator


After a slump in y-o-y growth in November, the European growth picked back up in December to a level of 2.7% growth compared to same period a year before. This is boosted by very positive figures from Italy (14.5% y-o-y growth) and the Netherlands (11% y-o-y growth), while Belgium also improved again, with 5.6% growth its best result since September 2014. Switzerland bounced back to positive growth again too. France shows a slight improvement with -4% y-o-y growth in December, where it was -5.5% and -4.5% the months before. Norway deteriorated slightly in Q4, from -0.4% to -0.8% y-o-y growth.

This month, the weighted European average was updated, based on new data on the size of the European market (as published in the Ciett Economic Report 2015). Most countries account for approximately the same share of the European market as last year. Notable differences are a growth in market share for Germany from 18.6% to 20.8%, and a decline of the French share from 16.7% to 15.7%. Most other countries included in the Eurociett Agency Work Business Indicator grew very slightly in their market share. Together they now represent 65% of the European market.

The new weightings are as follows:

Belgium: 3.7% of the European agency work market

Denmark: 1.2% of the European agency work market

France: 15.7% of the European agency work market

Germany: 20.6% of the European agency work market

Italy: 5.7% of the European agency work market

Netherlands: 10.1% of the European agency work market

Norway: 2.1% of the European Agency work market

Poland: 0.8% of the European Agency work market

Switzerland: 5.0% of the European Agency work market


Although hours worked improved in Belgium, turnover development actually shows a slowdown in growth, from 5.1% y-o-y in November to 4.9% in December. The Netherlands however show strong results with 11% turnover growth (which is the same as the development of hours worked in the Netherlands). Growth in Finland is accelerating, now to 3.4% y-o-y growth in December. Turnover decline in France is slowing down, which is in line with the number of hours worked.



In December 2014, the number of hours worked by temporary agency workers was 0.28% higher than a month earlier (seasonally adjusted data, corrected for calendar effects). An increase was observed in the blue collar segment by 0.52% and a decrease was observed in the white collar segment by -0.04%. In comparison with December 2013, the activity in the temporary agency work industry grew by 5.64% (compared to 4.29% in November 2014) resulting from a rise in the blue collar segment (hours worked: 4.72%) and in the white collar segment (6.83%).


In December 2014, temporary work turnover declined -3.0% (year over year, days adjusted) and -3.5% during the 4th quarter. During the year 2014, temporary work revenue decreased by 0.4%. Number of temps at work has declined -3% in January 2015, in line with December 2014 trend. The deterioration in Ile de France has strengthened in January (-7,9%). At the opposite, temporary work trend has significantly improved in Basse- Normandie (1,9%) and Languedoc Roussillon (4,0). 


In period 1 (week 1 – 4) the total amount of hours increased 11% and also turnover grew 11%, 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 5% in hours and also turnover grew 7% in comparison to the same period in 2014. 

Hours in the industrial sector increased 11% and turnover increased 10% compared to the same period last year. 

Furthermore, the amount of worked hours in the technical sector increased 25% and turnover increased 21%. 


The Norwegian agency work market is declining for the 8th consecutive quarter even though it is now showing signs of stabilizing. While construction work and manufacturing are growing, engineering and IT are dropping. As the main reason of the decline in 2013 was a price growth as a result of the establishing of an equal treatment principle for agency work in Norway, the decline in 2014 is due to a cooling Norwegian economy. Drop in oil prices affect the market for the Norwegian agency work industry. We also see signs that customers in certain areas are finding new ways to solve their need for flexibility than use of agency workers.


Temp billings growth eases to three-month low. Agencies’ billings from the employment of temporary/contract staff rose further in January, marking a twenty-first successive monthly increase. Although marked, the latest increase was the slowest since last October. Temp billings rose fastest in the Midlands during January, while the weakest increase was signalled in the South.


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