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Mixed results reported for agency workers’ hours worked in March, finds Eurociett

Eurociett has released the latest edition of its Agency Work Business Indicator: the hours worked by Europe’s agency workers continue to show moderate growth.


The indicator reveals a mixed picture this month as a number European markets continue to show pleasing year-on-year (YoY) growth while others have yet to pull out of negative growth. Finland, Poland, the Netherlands and France are notable, recording 12%, 12%, 9% and 8.8% YoY growth respectively. By contrast, Norway and Switzerland still show negative YoY growth of -12.3% and -5%. This results in a European average of +5.6%, an uplift on the previous month year-on-year figure.


Turnover developments following hours worked show near double-digit growth with the exception of Norway. Sweden saw turnover grow 17% during the last quarter of 2015, and has increased its growth rate each quarter for the past 12 months. Poland and France also saw strong continued growth into 2016.


The report found that Austria shows a positive figure for the fourth consecutive month and a doubling of the YoY figure from the previous month. This indicates a solid increase in agency work activity during February 2016.


In comparison with February 2015, activity in the temporary agency work industry in Belgium grew by 5.75% compared with 7.4% in January. This was the result of a rise in the hours worked in the blue collar segment of 3.81% and in the white collar segment of 8.39%. The number of hours worked in February was -0.59% lower than the previous month with a decrease in the white collar segment of -0.04% and in the blue collar segment of -1.01%. The figures reflect the worsening of the business confidence indicators during the past months, Eurociett says.


In France in January, temporary work turnover YoY increased by 9.3% and the number of hours worked improved by 8.8%. In February, the number of temps at work grew by 5.2% (after 6.5% growth in January). In the regional detail, growth in Eastern France has remained dynamic (between 8.7% and 17.5% in Lorraine, Alsace and Franche-Comté).


In the Netherlands, in period 2 (week 5 – 8) the total amount of hours increased 9% and turnover grew 10%, 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 turnover grew 8% in comparison to the same period in 2015. Hours in the industrial sector also increased 9% and turnover increased 11% compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, the amount of worked hours in the technical sector increased 8% and turnover increased 12%.


Agency work hours decreased by -5% in the year from February 2015 to February 2016 in Switzerland. This represents the fifth consecutive month of negative growth for the sector in Switzerland. Over the past 12 months the index has fallen by 0.8% with a fall of around 1% since the beginning of this year. The deterioration in the Swiss economy once again is reflected in the fortunes of the temporary agency work sector.


In the UK, agencies’ billings from the employment of temporary/contract staff rose for a thirty-fourth successive month in February. The rate of expansion was the same as in January, although this remained slightly slower than the survey’s historical average. Anecdotal evidence linked higher temp billings to rising activity levels at clients. The Midlands led a broad-based increase in short-term billings, with the slowest growth indicated in the South.

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