Double-Dip Recession Unlikely Based on Contract Staffing Numbers

With unemployment still around 9 percent and all of the uncertainty that has stirred up in Washington over the debt ceiling debacle, talk about a potential double-dip recession is resurfacing. But a sequel to the Great Depression is unlikely based on the demand for temporary/contract workers, according to Reuters.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' July jobs report was more positive than expected with 117,000 jobs being added. And while 9.1 percent certainly isn't a stellar unemployment rate, it is a decrease from June's 9.2 percent.

But the real sign that another recession is not imminent is the continued, steady demand for contract workers, according to Adecco CEO Tig Gilliam, who was interviewed for the article.  If we were heading into another recession, Gilliam said contractors would be laid off en masse because they are usually the first to go when the economy goes south.  That is not happening.

In fact, Gilliam said in another interview with CNN that while contracting generally does increase immediately following a recession, this time there appears to a more "fundamental change" where companies are looking for more workplace flexibility that they are achieving through contract hiring. He observed that most permanent jobs are coming from contract assignments.  

So while the news on jobs is not by any means great, there is at a least a little glimmer of hope. As the recovery continues to hobble along, we hope that contracting will continue to keep a new recession at bay!

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

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