There's a lot of good news about contract staffing as 2011 comes to a close.

Citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Staffing Industry Analysts has reported that the number of contract/temporary workers increased by 22,300 in November, bringing the total of contingent workers to 2.3 million after previous increases of 15,800 in October and 24,700 in September. Since last November, the United States has added 169,000 contract/temporary workers.

The reason for the increase? Well, for starters, there is the flexibility we keep talking about on this blog.  After having to conduct mass layoffs during the recession, companies are now utilizing more contractors so they can more easily adjust the size of their workforce to their workload. But according to a survey by Staffing Industry Analysts, cost savings is also a huge reason. Companies surveyed reported that they saved an average of 13 percent by utilizing contractors.

Not surprisingly, the staffing industry itself is also reaping financial awards from this contracting surge.  Staffing revenue was up 1.2 percent in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data provided by Staffing Industry Analysts.  Over the past year, staffing revenue has increased 7.1 percent.  

Debbie Fledderjohann is the President of Top Echelon Contracting, Inc.

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