Staffing Employment Steady in August

ASA Skills Gap Index ASA Staffing Index News Release

New Assignments on the Rise
ASA Staffing Index Monthly Report, August 2020
Staffing jobs for the week of Aug. 10–16 edged up 0.7% from the prior week, holding at a value of 75, according to the ASA Staffing Index. Week-to-week staffing employment growth has been steady over the past three months, with the exception of the anticipated Independence Day holiday dip. A few survey respondents mention temporary-to-hire conversions and extreme weather as factors impacting further growth. Staffing jobs were down 21.1% from the same week in 2019—the narrowest year-to-year gap since March.

New temporary and contract staffing starts were up 2.4% on average, with 46% of staffing companies reporting gains in new assignments week-to-week.

“Staffing starts give us another perspective on what’s happening with temporary jobs,” said Cynthia Davidson, senior director of research for ASA. “In weeks where staffing employment is down or the pace of growth slowed, but more staffing agencies are reporting placing a greater number of temporary employees in new assignments, there’s a glimmer of hope that the tide may be turning and an upward trend in employment could be on the horizon.”

The ASA Staffing Index four-week moving average ticked up to a value of 74. Temporary and contract staffing employment for the four weeks ending Aug. 16 was 22.5% lower than the same period in 2019.

This week, containing the 12th day of the month, will be used in the August monthly employment situation report scheduled to be issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Sept. 4.

The ASA Staffing Index is reported nine days after each workweek, making it a near real-time measure of staffing employment trends. ASA Staffing Starts are the number of temporary and contract employees placed in new assignments during the reporting week. ASA research shows that staffing employment has historically been a coincident economic indicator.

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About the American Staffing Association

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit

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