Providing career opportunities for 16 million employees annually, the staffing industry has earned its place in our nation’s economy as a significant income driver. How did it all begin? The history of the staffing industry is older than you may think. Established nearly 80 years ago, the staffing industry has definitely earned its place in our history books. The following is an overview of the industry’s origins and some interesting facts established along the way.

The War Births an Industry

The staffing industry began in the 1940s out of necessity. The job force at the time was predominantly male, with women working inside the home. However, when America joined WWII and young, male Americans were drafted to go fight, the workforce was drastically affected. Nearly overnight, there were large numbers of unfilled job positions and a dwindling pool of qualified applicants. The American job market needed a lifeline, and thus the staffing industry was born.

When the men returned from war, many women returned to work in the home, but many found they actually enjoyed going into work. This desire coupled with the post-war economic boom fueled the staffing industry, which continued to grow. Over the years, the industry has evolved dramatically and has expanded to include more services besides its original administrative and temporary work. Today there are staffing firms specializing in nearly every industry, placing workers in a wide variety of highly-skilled positions.

What the Industry Looks Like Now and Moving Forward

Along with the increased and more varied needs of businesses seeking help from a staffing agency has come a change in the level of skills and experience of the employees working for staffing agencies. These highly skilled workers are seeking the increased flexibility, networking, and negotiation assistance a staffing agency provides. They also want to take advantage of the opportunity this type of work offers them to explore different fields and different companies. Most staffing agencies have wide networks filled with talented individuals who are skilled and highly experienced. The American Staffing Association reported that nine out of 10 staffing employees felt their temporary jobs made them more employable, and a third of individuals were offered permanent jobs on their assignments.

There is a growing shift in the ways in which we work. Temporary and contract work are becoming increasingly more common. The drivers of this change are both economic and personal. This fuels the expansion of industries covered. According to data from the American Staffing Association (ASA), industry placements are segmented as follows:

  • 36% Industrial
  • 24% Office (Clerical and Administrative)
  • 21% Professional (Managerial)
  • 11% Engineering, Information Technology, and Scientific
  • 8% Health Care

Further data from ASA indicates around three million temporary and contract employees work for America’s staffing companies during an average week. During the course of a year, America’s staffing companies hire 16 million temporary and contract employees.

  • Most staffing employees (73%) work full time, comparable to the overall workforce (75%).
  • Six in 10 staffing employees (64%) work in the industry to fill in the gap between jobs or to help them land a job.
  • One in five (20%) site schedule flexibility as a reason for choosing temporary/contract work.

While staffing industry growth has outpaced overall economic and employment growth, it employs only two percent of the U.S. nonfarm workforce, so there is still plenty of room for this business segment to grow.

Continued Growth on the Horizon

According to the US Staffing Industry Forecast: September 2021 Update by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), staffing is a $157.4 billion industry in addition to being one of the fastest growing. And, it shows no signs of slowing down thanks to the advent of an on-demand, flexible workforce. The rise in the need for contingent workers has only increased the placement of more workers for more companies than ever before – and the numbers are only expected to increase over time.

Now is an optimum opportunity to start a staffing agency to provide employment staffing solutions that are in growing demand. At Employers Logic we perform all of the necessary back-office work, payroll, and workers’ compensation so you can focus on what you do best – growing your staffing business.