Staffing Employment Trends – March 2011

The Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) presented the March Staffing Industry Report on March 15, 2011. It was reported that a total of 192,000 jobs were gained in February 2011, with the private sector adding 220,000 jobs to offset the losses in government jobs. The overall unemployment rate changed very little from January, at 8.92%. More job openings than job layoffs were reported in February, but the job opening rate is still a lower than ideal level.

The manufacturing industry continued to add substantial gains, with 33,000 new jobs in February. Average weekly hours worked have flattened out in the last few months, not yet reaching pre-recession levels. An average of four hours of overtime per week was worked, making that the highest amount of overtime hours since June 2007. Temporary employment jobs are up 15,500, but the gains are not as high as previously forecasted.

While the overall economic outlook is positive, state and local government layoffs plus high unemployment for the foreseeable future remain roadblocks to recovery.