Employment services ranks among the fastest growing industries in the Nation and is expected to be among those that provide the most new jobs. The industry is expected to gain about 1.8 million new jobs over the 2002-12 projection period. Wage and salary employment in the employment services industry is expected to grow 54 percent over this period, more than 3 times the 16-percent growth projected for all industries combined.
Growth in demand for temporary employees fueled the expansion of the industry throughout the 1990s and is attributable to a number of factors. As competition increased, businesses sought new ways to make their staffing patterns more responsive to changes in demand. To achieve this, they hired temporary employees with specialized skills to reduce costs and to provide the necessary knowledge or experience in certain types of work. Despite recent industry job losses, increasing demand for flexible work arrangements and schedules, coupled with significant turnover in these positions, should create plentiful job opportunities for persons who seek jobs as temporaries or contract workers through 2012. In particular, suppliers of medical personnel to hospitals and other medical facilities should continue to fare well, as demand for temporary healthcare staffing grows to meet the needs of aging baby boomers and to supplement demand for more healthcare services throughout the country.
Employment in professional employer organizations also grew rapidly during the 1990s in response to demands by businesses for changes in human resources management. The increasing complexity of employee-related laws and regulations and a desire to control costs, reduce risks, and provide more integrated services spurred more businesses to contract with professional employer organizations to handle their personnel management, health benefits, workers’ compensation claims, payroll, tax compliance, and unemployment insurance claims. This trend is expected to continue as businesses enter into relationships with professional employer organizations and shift these responsibilities to specialists.
Employment placement agencies are expected to continue growing, but not as fast as temporary help services or professional employer organizations. Growth in these agencies stems from employers’ increasing willingness to allow outside agencies to perform the preliminary screening of candidates and the growing acceptance of executive recruitment services. However, online employment placement agencies operate without employment counselors and need fewer administrative support workers. Job postings on employer Web sites; online newspaper classified ads; and job matching Internet sites operated by educational institutions and professional associations compete with this industry, thereby dampening employment growth.
Most new jobs will arise in the largest occupational groups in this industry-office and administrative support occupations, production, and transportation and material moving occupations. However, the continuing trend toward specialization also will spur growth among professional workers, including engineers, computer specialists, and healthcare practitioners such as nurses. Managers also will see an increase in new jobs, as government increasingly contracts out management functions. In addition, growth of temporary help firms and professional employer organizations-which provide human resource management, risk management, accounting, and information technology services-will provide more opportunities for professional workers within those fields. Marketing and sales representative jobs in temporary staffing firms also are expected to increase along with competition among these firms for the most qualified workers and the best clients.