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Looking Ahead - 2021 Growth Projections for the U.S. Staffing Industry

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

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No industry has escaped the ravages of COVID-19 and the associated responses enacted by governments around the world. The staffing industry has been particularly hit hard as employers scramble to figure out how to manage remote working, contraction in certain sectors and explosive growth in others.

To prepare you for what's to come, take a look at the staffing industry forecast for the remainder of 2020 and the expectations for 2021.

A Strong Foundation Keeps the United States Ahead

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into the plans of companies nationwide, with the most unfortunate having to shutter operations and others having to drastically change their planned course. Gallup polls indicate that manufacturing and production jobs have decreased by up to 15%, with at least 32% of workers experiencing reduced hours.

This has rippled into the staffing industry as many segments of manufacturing now have a far lower demand for employees. As a result, industrial staffing is slated to drop by 22% in 2020.

Despite these dismal figures, North America represents the fastest-growing region globally for staffing and recruitment.

A well-blended combination of advanced technology, a capable workforce, a large amount of investment capital and major global corporations are the reasons for this. Even with the ravages of COVID-19 responses, significant portions of the economy are holding steady or even bouncing back slightly. This would not be possible without such strong fundamentals.

This advantageous position is also predicted to allow the staffing and recruitment industry in the United States to recover much faster than other parts of the world. From 2020 to 2024, the global average increase in revenue is expected to be roughly 2%.

Obviously, the United States will experience a higher growth rate due to the previously mentioned conditions. This rate is predicted to result in a record $542 billion in revenue by 2024.

A Better Outlook for Business

There is more good news for the United States specifically. The original forecast for 2020 was a staffing industry revenue of $119.3 billion.

Today, based on the latest observations and figures from an interim survey of the industry, the new forecast is projected to be $126.1 billion in 2020. This represents a 17% decline from the previous year. However, it is still 4% higher than the original estimate.

Staffing Industry Analysts president Barry Asin comments that gradual economic improvements and exits from lockdowns have contributed to their optimism about the industry for the rest of 2020. He goes on to caution firms that there will be variations based on local policies and ordinances that can affect specific growth.

Further variations in revenue can be attributed to the economic health of individual industries and the demand for home delivery of products versus in-store shopping.

The explosive growth in many parts of the medical and pharmaceutical supply sectors has created some of the only growth seen in the staffing industry.

Life sciences is currently up 3% while travel nurses are seeing a 5% uptick. As work continues to help patients and manufacture treatments, these numbers are likely to hold or even increase.

Technology to the Rescue

Companies that are able to support it have asked employees to work from home. Telecommuting and the use of virtual meetings have made it possible for certain types of operations to continue relatively uninterrupted.

For industrial purposes, Industry 4.0 enables remote management of production facilities and manufacturing.

Health care is able to provide live consultations and health advice to patients remotely through the use of telehealth interfaces.

Unlike pure automation, all of these systems require the presence of people for them to function.

This is a benefit to both staffing agencies and workers. Staffing agencies that are able to pivot to the demands of the new remote workplace will be highly sought after by employers.

Those that can adapt may see even better results than the projected growth into 2021 and beyond.

Are you looking to reach out to industrial companies with your staffing, HR or workforce development services? An excellent lead generation resource for staffing agencies in the manufacturing sector is IndustrySelect. IndustrySelect profiles 500,000 U.S. industrial companies and one million executives, and can provide a custom database of leads based on size, annual sales, geographic location, executive title and more. Click here to try out a free demo.

Want to keep up with the latest sales and marketing trends and exclusive industrial statistics from MNI? The free weekly IndustrySelect Insider email is the industry's top source for sales, marketing and industrial news you can't find anywhere else. Subscribe here.

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