Bureau of Labor Statistics

Temporary help trends

April 14, 2005

After the 2001 recession, employment growth in the temporary help services industry began its generally upward trend, and, more recently, added 205,000 jobs in 2004.

Employment in temporary help services, January 2000-December 2004 (seasonally adjusted)
[Chart data—TXT]

In this latest phase of the business cycle, this industry was the major contributor to total nonfarm employment growth. Since hitting an employment low in April 2003 (following a peak in April 2000), the temporary help services industry recovered about two-thirds of the jobs lost by December 2004.

Temporary help services supplies labor to all types of industries, which often hire temporary workers to keep pace with increased demand before hiring permanent workers. This practice ensures that increased demand is long lasting before permanent hires are made.

These employment data come from the BLS Current Employment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. To find out more, see "Payroll employment grows in 2004," by Emily Lloyd and Charlotte Mueller, Monthly Labor Review, March 2005.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Temporary help trends at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/apr/wk2/art04.htm (visited January 20, 2022).


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