Canada's staffing index up despite manufacturing slowdowns

Consistent, long-term growth over 16 months: Study

Even with reductions in the manufacturing sector, Canadian temporary and contract staff continue to receive more hours of work on a daily basis, according to the Canadian Staffing Index for May 2011 released by the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS).

An index score of 85 measured the hours of labour performed by temporary and contract staff in May compared to the benchmark index of 100 established in July 2008.

"As we anticipated, May's index reading landed between those of the two previous months," said ACSESS president Bryan Toffey. "This result is reflective of monthly differences in the overall number of work days, not the number of hours worked per day, which continues to be on an upward trend."

The news is mixed from sector to sector, he said.

"We're still seeing some shutdowns and lower hours worked in manufacturing, particularly with respect to the automotive segment. Despite this, the demand for services remains strong, keeping the total number of hours worked per day on the rise."

The index has demonstrated consistent, long-term growth, according to Robert Balicki, research associate at Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), which compiled the index.

"Though the nominal gain was small, year-over-year growth was eight per cent. This is the 16th month of uninterrupted year-over-year gains — truly a good sign for the Canadian temporary staffing industry and the overall economy," he said.

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