Data released by the American Staffing Association showed staffing employment and sales experienced quarter-to-quarter gains following a small second quarter 2021 dip. Third quarter; however, showed a promising return to growth, with jobs up 3.5 percent quarter-to-quarter and temporary and contract staffing sales growing 3.1 percent. By mid-December last year, the Staffing Index was at 108, which marked the thirteenth consecutive week it was over 100. This level of growth has not been recognized since 2014. Quarter one of 2022 is starting strong. 

The Road to Growth 

Staffing revenue fell by 11 percent in 2020 as COVID-19 took hold and measures to battle the disease impacted the economy and the staffing industry business vertical.  The reports for 2021 were much better though, with revenues up a reported 16 percent for a record total of $157.4 billion according to the US Staffing Industry Forecast: September 2021 Update report released by SIA.  

“The bounce back in the staffing industry [in 2021] 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.” 

All segments of the industry saw double-digit growth in 2021, in many cases as part of a “V-shaped” bounce back from declines experienced in 2020. This growth was driven by
rising pay rates. The forecasts for 2022 growth are equally as promising at four percent as economic conditions continue to normalize.  

Bright Outlook for 2022 

“Industry growth [in 2021 was ] driven by six percent US GDP growth, aided by federal spending and monetary policy, and helped by a massive COVID-19 vaccination campaign,” according to the US Staffing Industry Forecast: September 2021 Update report. “With a record 10.1 million job openings (as of June 2021), the US staffing industry is seeing levels of jobs orders never before witnessed.”  

Such record levels of business – and the fact they are continuing to hold strong – is good news for anyone in the staffing industry as well as those looking to join it in 2022 by starting their own staffing agency.  

“U.S. businesses are turning to the staffing industry for help in filling millions of current job openings,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “The staffing industry is playing an increasingly important role in today’s labor market by providing talent sourcing expertise and workforce flexibility to employers in need of workers, and helping candidates find roles that are the right fit.” 

With continued projected growth in 2022, Staffing firms are optimistic about their ability to grow in the coming year. According to the latest Recruitment and Staffing Market 2021 Research Report, the staffing market will register a sizable spike in CAGR in terms of revenue over the next five years.  In this study, 2020 was considered as the base year and 2021 to 2026 as the forecast period to estimate the market size for Recruitment and Staffing. 

In 2021 we in the staffing agency industry were able to grow revenue, exceeding pre-pandemic levels based on the latest statistics released by Staffing Industry Analysts in its April 2021 report, which indicated revenues were up 11 percent compared to 2020’s disappointing eight percent decline that thankfully wasn’t any worse. The historic revenue increase recognized in 2021 along with projections for continued growth in 2022 are a beacon of hope for those in the industry who have weathered what we hope is the worst of the COVID-10 pandemic storm. It is also encouraging news for those looking to start their own staffing agency.