Supply Chain Managers May Slowly Be Ramping Up Staffing

As with other core competency sectors, supply chain managers remain cautious about staffing.

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Seasonally adjusted employment data released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that staffing firms added 9,500 new jobs from May to June (up 0.4%).

As with other core competency sectors, logistics is cautiously keeping pace with other departments in staffing.

In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help employment for the month was 6.7% higher than in June 2012.

But according to Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association, the news might be as good as it sounds.

“In this slowly growing economy, businesses continue to strategically increase the size of their permanent and flexible work forces,” he says. “Staffing firms report that the rate of growth in demand for talent in several sectors has moderated compared to last year at this time.”

Non-seasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that the staffing industry added 25,000 new jobs (up 0.9%) from May to June of this year. On a year-to-year basis, there were 6.0% more staffing employees in June than in the same month last year.

Overall U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 195,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.6%. Over the past 12 months, employment growth has averaged 182,000 jobs per month.

Sectors adding jobs to the economy included leisure and hospitality (+75,000), professional and business services (+53,000), retail trade (+37,000), health care (+20,000), and financial activities (+17,000). Federal government employment continued to trend down (-5,000) and has contracted by 65,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Employment in most other major industries showed little change over the month.

BLS also provides employment estimates for search and placement firms, but those are nonseasonal only, and reports lag one month. Last Friday, BLS reported that search and placement employment in May was up 1.7% from April, totaling 285,000 jobs for the month. In a year-to-year comparison, May employment was up 4.6% from the same month in 2012.

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson

Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor specializing in international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He is based in San Francisco, where he provides a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. He may be reached at his downtown office: [email protected].

View Patrick 's author profile.

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