The staffing industry
The staffing industry can be divided into two main categories – the provision of short-term staff to organizations and assisting organizations to source and recruit new permanent staff members. On average, short term workers are hired for around ten weeks, but this figure hides some important distinctions between contract and temporary staff. Contract workers are hired for a specific length of time (e.g. three or six months) with consistent conditions over this period, whereas temporary staff are generally recruited for only a few days or weeks and are paid by hour depending on the amount of work that is required each day.
Size of the industry
In 2019, the market size of the staffing industry in the U.S. was 152 billion U.S. dollars, of which over 80 percent was from the provision of short-term staff. This makes the U.S. the largest single market for temporary staffing in the world. Despite the size of the market, the rate of temporary staff relative to permanent workers in the U.S. is actually much lower than in many other developed economies – being much less than half the rate of the United Kingdom.