US temp jobs keep climbing in October, but still down 11.6% over year


The number of temporary jobs in the US remained below pre-pandemic levels in October — down 11.6% year over year — but the gain of 108,700 temp jobs last month marks continued growth from April when the US lost 840,500 temp jobs as Covid-19 hit, according to today’s jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition, the temp penetration rate rose to 1.82% in October from 1.76% in September. The temp penetration rate measures temp jobs as a percent of total employment.

The US, in total, had nearly 2.6 million temp jobs in October.

“This month’s jobs report was highly favorable for temporary help, as it had the highest percentage gain of all 15 industry groups for the month,” said Tony Gregoire, research director at SIA. “However, the industry has only recovered 62% of the losses from February to April.”

Total employment also rose in October, with the US adding 638,000 nonfarm job and the unemployment rate falling to 6.9% from September’s number of 7.9%. The college-level unemployment rate fell to 4.2% in October from 4.8% in September.

Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of people on temporary layoff fell by 1.4 million in October to a total of 3.2 million. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted the number of people on temporary layoff is still up compared to February but down from the 18.1 million in April.

Fewer people also teleworked in October, according to the department. In October, 21.2% of employed persons teleworked because of the Covid-19 pandemic, down from 22.7% in September.

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