The use of temporary staff increased slightly according to the American Staffing Association (ASA) Staffing Index. November marks a ten-month high for staffing jobs, although still 9% lower than the same period last year. New starts were up for the ninth consecutive week, increasing 8.0% on average, with nearly half (48%) of staffing companies reporting gains in new assignments week-to-week.
IT and Engineering positions continue to show greater demand than other skills, although each is down approximately 3% when compared to the same period in the prior year. At the same time,The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined in November, after remaining relatively flat in October. The Conference Board attributes the decline to a moderation in business conditions, suggesting growth has slowed in Q4. In addition, the resurgence of Covid-19 is further increasing uncertainty. Consumers do not foresee the economy, nor the labor market, gaining strength in 2021.