February 9, 2011: Staffing

There’s good news–and bad–on the jobs front. But savvy entrepreneurs can take advantage of the mixed hiring outlook.

The economic experts all tell us the economy is recovering, but businesses have still been slow to rehire the millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the Great Recession. Yet, companies need the extra help as the recovery puts increased demand on their businesses. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the beneficiary of all this is temporary employment agencies.

The American Staffing Association reports the number of temp workers increased 25 percent (to an average 2.6 million a day) in the third quarter of last year (the latest numbers available). One of the agency owners quoted by the Times reports that his business has “been consistently on the rise since September.”

If you already own an agency, you obviously have a head start on new startups. (And, reports the Times, there’s increasing competition from the big national agencies, which previously ignored smaller deals.) But there’s also room for new agencies, especially since in California alone, the Times estimates about 33 percent of the staffing firms that existed before the recession have gone out of business.

The owner of a New York-based staffing and recruiting firm told me 2010 was a far better year than 2009 (sales up 75 percent; profits up 100 percent). And the prospect for 2011 looks better still.