Employers Leaning Less on Staffing Agencies to Post Jobs

The percentages of online job ads[1] posted by staffing agencies nationally and in Idaho have been declining in recent years as the economy has improved. In 2010, 14 percent of online job postings in Idaho, 18 percent nationally, were being posted by staffing agencies. The most recent data from January 2014 shows that the percentages have declined to 9 percent in Idaho, 13 percent for the country.

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While the proportion of online job ads has steadily declined as other sectors increased their postings, the actual number of staffing agency postings has only recently started to decrease. During the recovery from 2011 to early 2013, the number of online job postings increased both in Idaho and nationally. Comparing Januarys, the nation saw a 14 percent increase in online job postings by staffing agencies while Idaho saw a 62 percent increase. But the January 2014 postings were down from a year earlier by 26 percent in Idaho and 7 percent nationally.

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Over the same period, online job postings from direct employers — meaning the employers are posting their own jobs and not hiring through staffing agencies — increased substantially, both nationally and in Idaho at 81 percent across the nation and 117 percent in Idaho from January 2010 to January 2014.

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The occupations posted by the two employer types vary. In January, the majority of the postings by staffing agencies were for professional level jobs, mostly in healthcare. In contrast, more entry level positions were posted by direct employers in retail, customer service, food preparation and waiters and waitresses. The only occupation that appeared on both lists was registered nurse, which topped the list for staffing agencies and was the fifth most common from direct employer.

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Not surprisingly, staffing agencies had a much larger percentage of contract work in their online job ads. Over 21 percent of online job postings by staffing agencies in January were for contract work. But the majority of the postings were for full-time work at more than 71 percent. Direct employers also had a majority of postings for full-time work at over 75 percent, but contract work made up just a fraction of the total at 5 percent.

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There are some differences among the six regions. North central, south central and eastern Idaho all had more than 10 percent each of online job postings from staffing agencies during 2013. Southeastern Idaho had the proportion at barely 7 percent. The largest region, southwestern Idaho, had the largest number of staffing agency postings by far – over 1,000 to total more than the other five regions combined.

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Andrew.Townsend@labor.idaho.gov, Regional Economist
(208) 332-3570, ext. 3455


[1] Total job ads come from WANTED Analytics and include only advertisements that listed an employer.