Staffing Industry in Review: 2014 Ends With a Boom!

Staffing Industry in Review: 2014 Ends With a Boom!

With robust growth in the GDP for the third-quarter of 2014, unemployment hitting 5.6 percent in December and an 8% year-over-year growth rate in temporary jobs, 2014 was a great year for many staffing companies.  

In December, the Wall Street Journal boasted that the U.S. Economy grew at the fastest quarterly pace in more than 10 years in the third quarter of 2014, according to the Commerce Department’s third estimate of third-quarter GDP.

Last Friday, US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated the number of US temporary help services jobs rose by 14,700. Additionally, 252,000 nonfarm jobs were added to the US in December and a year-over-year growth of 2.1%.

But what does this mean for the staffing industry?

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) reported earlier this week that the Conference Board’s US employment trends index (ETI) increased in December to a reading of 128.43, up from November’s reading of 127.83. “The employment trends index increased in every single month of 2014, capping the year off with strong growth, 2.3 percent, in the final quarter,” said Gad Levanon, managing director of macroeconomic and labor market research at The Conference Board. “The strengthening in the ETI suggests that rapid job growth is likely to continue throughout the first half of 2015. And as the labor market tightens further, acceleration in wage growth is soon to follow.”

This is all great news for the staffing industry. But where should you focus your efforts? What are the hottest major industry groups?

In December, SIA released the Hottest U.S. Job Markets report. This report focuses on the industries, states and metropolitan area with the greatest demand for employment.  

Projections by Industry

SIA projects the top three industries in employment growth to be in the areas of Leisure and Hospitality, Professional and Business Services, and Education and Health Services. The three weakest areas come as no surprise to many: Casino Hotels, Clothing Stores, and Amusement Parks/Arcades.

Projections by Geographic Area

The highest-ranking states in employment growth based on their composite growth score are North Carolina, Texas, and Florida.  Virginia, Nevada, and Montana ranked lowest.

SIA also listed the hottest Metropolitan area in terms of job growth. These were:
•    San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
•    Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
•    Nashville-Davidson-Murfeesboro-Franklin, TN
•    Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA
•    Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC
•    Jacksonville, FL
•    Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ
•    Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
•    Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA
•    Asheville, NC.

Bringing up the bottom, the three lowest ranking metropolitan areas were:
•    Philadelphia, PA
•    Ocean City, NJ
•    Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ.

So what does this mean for 2015?  

Everything is pointing to continued year-over-year growth for the staffing industry. Some projections have the industry growing by 6% in 2015. With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) taking effect in 2015, many businesses will look to increase the number of contract workers they hire to avoid the employer mandate. This alone will significantly impact the staffing industry.  

For the entire report, go to Staffing Industry Analysts at and search for Hottest U.S. Job Markets: December 2014 Update.  

Not an SIA member? You can have access to their proprietary research, award-winning content, data, support tools and more with your corporate membership. Tricom has negotiated a special discount for our friends and clients. New corporate members referred by Tricom Funding will receive 2014 pricing, as well as extended Early Bird pricing for Executive Forum 2015 through the end of January for those who become members in January. Simply contact Georgeann Shoptaw at 650-390-6236 or and mention that Tricom Funding referred you.