US Staffing Revenue Will Grow 16% This Year To Record High: SIA forecast

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September 08, 2021 — US staffing revenue will grow by 16% this year to a record total of $157.4 billion, up from 12% growth estimated in the April forecast, according to the “US Staffing Industry Forecast: September 2021 Update” report released this week by the contingent workforce consulting firm Staffing Industry Analysts.

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“The bounce back in the staffing industry this year highlights the resilience and agility of staffing firms to successfully serve their clients despite challenging and rapidly evolving conditions,” said Timothy Landhuis, SIA’s director of research, North America. “In particular, with job openings currently at historic record highs, the US economy has never needed the staffing industry more than it does now.”

Staffing revenue declined 11% last year as Covid-19 took hold and measures to fight the disease hit the economy.

All segments of the industry will see double-digit growth this year, in many cases as part of a “V-shaped” bounce back from declines experienced in 2020, according to SIA’s report. Rising wages, particularly in the industrial and travel nursing, is also driving growth.

SIA’s forecast also projects staffing industry revenue growth for 2022 at 4% — up from 3% in the April forecast — as economic conditions normalize. However, the ongoing pandemic continues to pose some degree of risk and uncertainty to the outlook.

“Industry growth this year is being driven by 6% US GDP growth, aided by federal spending and monetary policy, and helped by a massive Covid-19 vaccination campaign,” the report states. “With a record 10.1 million job openings (as of June), the US staffing industry is seeing levels of jobs orders never before witnessed.”

Revenue projections for 2021 were upgraded for most of the US temporary staffing professional segments compared to the April forecast. SIA increased its forecast to 11% growth for IT staffing this year, up from the prior forecast of 9%, achieving a tie with the industrial segment as the largest skill segment of the staffing industry, at $34.0 billion.

Healthcare staffing is now projected to grow 24% this year — up from the April forecast of 7% — to reach $24.7 billion, driven by a 40% expansion in the travel nurse segment.

On the flip side, the outlook for some segments were reduced.

Compared to the April report, market growth projections decreased to 12% from 16% for the industrial segment and to 10% from 12% for the office/clerical segment. Lack of available candidates prevented faster growth.

Revenue is expected to rise by 35% in direct hire in 2021 and by 25% in retained search. This follows estimated declines last year of 30% and 25%, respectively.

The full report, “US Staffing Industry Forecast: September 2021 Update” with information on 12 staffing segments is available to corporate members of SIA.

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