US Employment Exceeds Estimates With Temp Jobs Up

Staffing Industry Analysts (03/04/22)

Temporary help services jobs rose by 35,500 in February from January while total nonfarm jobs rose by 678,000, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Today’s jobs report indicates strong momentum in hiring across all sectors of the economy as the impact of the pandemic recedes,” said Timothy Landhuis, VP of research at Staffing Industry Analysts. “During such periods of elevated activity, employers and staffing firms are likely focused on rapid execution and scaling up their recruiting resources, while keeping in mind that this level of hiring will likely decelerate to a more sustainable pace as the year unfolds.”

On a year-over-year basis, the number of temporary help services jobs was up by 240,000 in February.

BLS data also shows the temp penetration rate — temp jobs as a percent of total employment — rose to a new all-time high of 2.09% in February from 2.07% in January.

CNN reported February’s increase of 678,000 in nonfarm jobs exceeded economists’ expectations — the consensus prediction for the report was a gain of 400,000 jobs — and marked the best month for job growth since July.

“It’s mindbogglingly fast and sustained growth — well over half a million jobs added per month on average for more than a year,” Heidi Shierholz, president at the Economic Policy Institute, wrote on Twitter. More than nine out of every 10 jobs lost during the pandemic recession have been regained, she noted.

The US unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in February from 4.0% in January. In addition, the college-level unemployment rate edged downward to 2.2% in February from 2.3% in January.

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