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Staffing Industry Facts and Statistics


The staffing industry was booming before it was slowed down during the pandemic. Many had to lose their job due to a sudden health and economic crisis that the world is still trying to cope up with.  The following stats cover various aspects such as the revenue generated in the last few years while also showcasing forecasts for the future, the need for permanent jobs, digitalization, etc. In the coming years, there will be a need for skilled, creative, and adaptive workers.

History of Staffing Industry

  1. The modern birth of the staffing industry dates back to the 1940s when many employees’ positions were vacated after they left to join the military during WWII.
  2. The extreme lack of talent and increase of open positions created a need for the first-ever staffing agencies.
  3. The industry has evolved dramatically since then and is no longer limited to administrative, temporary work.
  4. Today there are staffing firms specializing in virtually every industry, placing workers in a wide variety of highly-skilled positions.

General overview

  1. There are over 20,000 staffing and recruiting companies in the U.S., operating over 39,000 offices combined.
  2. Staffing is a $174B industry – and one of the fastest-growing industries in B2B services. 
  3. Around three million temporary and contract employees work for America’s staffing companies during an average week.
  4. During the course of a year, America’s staffing companies hire 16 million temporary and contract employees.
  5. Most staffing employees (73%) work full time, comparable to the overall workforce (74%).
  6. Six in 10 staffing employees (64%) work in the industry to fill in the gap between jobs or to help them land a job.
  7. One in five (20%) cite schedule flexibility as a reason for choosing temporary/contract work.
  8. There are many reasons why temporary staffing is getting more popular, primarily because companies use staffing companies for flexibility.
  9. As the world is embracing a new landscape, the staffing industry has been setting people up to work from home, investing in and using new recruitment technologies, and adjusting to a completely unfamiliar environment.
  10. 67% of hiring managers believe it is important for staffing companies to use the latest technology.
  11. 74% of hiring managers said that it is a technology that sets staffing companies apart (Career Builder, 2018).
  12. 40% of hiring managers reported they avoid working with staffing firms to save money, and 28% believe a staffing company would not be able to hire the positions they need (Career Builder, 2018).
  13. Half of all hiring managers intend to increase their use of staffing firms in the next five years (Career Builder, 2018).
  14. More than half (52%) of hiring managers say one of their main challenges in the recruiting process is gaining access to candidates with the right skills (Career Builder, 2018).
  15. 77% of millennial clients plan to increase their use of staffing companies in the next five years (Career Builder, 2018).
  16. The United States generates around 31% of the global staffing industry revenue, which makes the U.S. a leading country in the staffing industry (Statista, 2019).
  17. 16 million temporary and contract workers are hired throughout the year (American Staffing).
  18. On any given day, 2.1% of employed adults (3.1 million) are working in the staffing industry, with 63% being temporary employees, and 37% being contract workers (ASA-digital, 2019).
  19. Staffing employees work in all sectors, 36% have industrial occupations, 24% are in office-clerical and administrative positions, 21% in professional-managerial, 11% in engineering, information technology, and scientific, 8% in health care (American Staffing).
  20. 40% of employers plan to hire full-time workers, 47% are looking for temporary employees (Career Builder, 2019).
  21. 92% of employers say soft skills are a key factor in determining whether they hire a candidate, and 80% believe soft skills are more equally important than hard skills (Career Builder, 2019).
  22. 40% of respondents said that the most challenging phase of the recruitment lifecycle is sourcing candidates (Statista, 2020).
  23. 41% of recruiters say entry-level positions are the hardest to fill (Indeed, 2017).
  24. The staffing industry provides career opportunities to almost 15 million employees per year.
  25. An often-cited Intuit report predicts that contingent workers (such as freelancers, temporary employees, contract workers, or consultants) will make up an astounding 40% of the workforce by 2020.
  26. 68% of HR professionals said they’ve had difficulty recruiting for full-time regular positions in the last 12 months, while only 50% reported this trouble in 2013, according to a recent SHRM report.
  27. The biggest challenges they face include a low number of applicants, lack of experience among applicants, and competition from other employers.
  28. Most (76%) work full time, comparable to the overall workforce (82%).
  29. Half (49%) of staffing employees say it’s a way to get a permanent job.
  30. Nine out of 10 said staffing work made them more employable.
  31. One-third (35%) were offered a permanent job by a client where they worked on an assignment, and two-thirds (66%) of those accepted the offers of permanent employment.
  32. Staffing companies offer a wide range of employment-related services, predominantly.
  33. Temporary and contract staffing.
  34. Recruiting and permanent placement.
  35. Outsourcing and outplacement.
  36. The human resource consulting.
  37. In 2019, the global staffing industry generated revenue of just below half a trillion U.S. dollars, following five years of continuous growth.
  38. The largest segment of this industry is staffing agencies, comprising approximately 75 percent of the market in 2018.
  39. In the United States, 16 million workers were placed in the labor market through agencies. This figure amounted to 11.74 million in China. (Statista 2021).
  40. In 2018, the agency work industry generated global sales revenue of approximately 390.3 billion euros.
  41. The US is the leading region in the world in the staffing industry.
  42. On average, about 40% of workers will require reskilling of 6 months or less.
  43. Demand for cognitive skills such as creativity, critical thinking, decision-making, and complex information processing will grow through 2030.
  44. Some 85% of jobs or tasks that students of today will be performing do not exist; jobs of the future will solve challenges and cater to technology trends beyond the next 5 to 10 years.
  45. Companies are increasing their investment in worker reskilling and are forging partnerships with coding boot camps and other programs to increase workers’ access to digital skills.
  46. The staffing industry can be divided into two main categories – the provision of short-term staff to organizations and assisting organizations to source and recruit new permanent staff members.
  47. In 2019, temporary and contract staffing employment amounted to approximately 16 million.
  48. In 2019, the average tenure of staffing employees was 10.1 weeks. Tenure is defined as the duration of employment with the staffing firm. (Statista 2021).
  49. Of the total number of agency workers worldwide in 2016, 58 percent were male and 42 percent were female. (Statista 2021).
  50. In 2016, 32 percent of agency workers worldwide had a low skill level. (Statista 2021).
  51. Despite the size of the market, the rate of temporary staff relative to permanent workers in the U.S. is actually much lower than in many other developed economies – being much less than half the rate of the United Kingdom.
  52. In terms of revenue, Allegis Group is the clear leader in the U.S. staffing market, with 10.48 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, the group generated over twice the income of their nearest competitors, Randstad and Adecco.

The division of the entire staffing industry into the following categories-

  1. 36% Industrial.
  2. 24% Office–Clerical and Administrative.
  3. 21% Professional–Managerial.
  4. 11% Engineering, Information Technology, and Scientific.
  5. 8% Health Care.

Challenges in the staffing industry

  1. 20% of staffing employees cite schedule flexibility as a reason for choosing temporary/contract work (American Staffing).
  2. Six in 10 staffing employees (64%) work in the industry between jobs or to help them land a job (American Staffing).
  3. Almost half of the employees who choose temporary or contract work do so in the hopes of gaining permanent employment (ASA-Digital, 2019).
  4. Most staffing employees work full time (73%), comparable to the overall workforce (74%) (American Staffing).
  5. The No. 1 reason people say they want to do temporary work is to earn extra income (True Blue, 2019).
  6. 55 percent of respondents said embracing digital transformation was one of the top challenges. (Statista 2021).

COVID-19 and Staffing Industry Trends

  1. 30% of staffing and recruitment professionals report that their businesses are doing better than or as well as this time last year (GRID, 2020).
  2. As the demand for remote workers is on the rise, alongside it all the office operations (32%), onboarding (41%), and remote recruiting of candidates are also seeing a shift (GRID, 2020).
  3. 64% of respondents said that remote jobs are and will be even more common (GRID, 2020).
  4. 81% of recruiting companies found the reduction in job requirements the most challenging part of COVID-19 (GRID, 2020).
  5. Video interviewing and video conferencing solutions have seen the largest rise (91%) in innovative technologies that staffing companies have started using (GRID, 2020).
  6. More than three-quarters of employed U.S. adults (79%) are satisfied with their employers’ pandemic-related return-to-work plans (American Staffing, 2020).
  7. Health care workers (14%) are most likely to report that nothing will make them feel safe on the job during the pandemic (American Staffing, 2020).
  8. Mid-year temporary and contract staffing employment during COVID-19 is 31.6% lower than the year before (American Staffing, 2020).

Revenue generation from Staffing Industry

  1. Global staffing revenue is projected to decline between 14% and 37% in 2020 (Staffing Industry, 2020).
  2. U.S. staffing industry revenue is expected to fall by 21% in 2020 (Staffing Industry, 2020).
  3. The global staffing industry revenue amounted to 481.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 (Statista, 2019).
  4. There are over 20,000 staffing and recruiting companies in the U.S. (Murray Resources, 2018).
  5. The top five markets in 2018 were the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Australia (WEC Global, 2020).


The pandemic has certainly changed the view of people regarding their choice of career and place of work. The world has seen a drastic shift, where everyone must quickly adapt to the changes to stay relevant in the marketplace for work. Leveling up digital and computer skills will be an important asset for an employee’s/workers CV.

TheDigitalHacker.com is a Google News-approved technology conglomerate research and publishing platform.
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