Weak economy hits staffing agencies

$5.19-billion industry growing slowly, temporary staffing services outpace permanent ones: Statistics Canada

A general slowdown in economic growth in 2001 hit the employment services industry, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

Employment services reported operating revenues of $5.19 billion in 2001, basically unchanged from the $5.14 billion in 2000. The employment services industry provides workers to businesses for part-time and permanent assignments. While revenues from placement services (those that provide permanent staffing) were lower, revenues from temporary staffing services grew to offset the decline.

Temporary staffing services generated 80.3 per cent of operating revenues in 2001, up from 75.7 per cent in 2000. In contrast, the share of operating revenues from placement services fell to 18.2 per cent from 21.5 per cent in 2000.

In 2001, a total of 464,000 workers used a temporary staffing service. These temp workers generated 221-million billable hours for the industry in 2001, up from 210 million the year before.

Ontario was the most significant market, with 61 per cent of revenue earned in the province. Revenues from clients outside Canada grew to $122 million, up from $74 million in 2000.

The top 20 staffing firms in Canada accounted for 37 per cent of operating revenues in 2001, down from 40 per cent in 2000. Similarly, they accounted for 39 per cent of all salaries and wages paid in the industry in 2001, down from 41 per cent in 2000.

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