Partly as a result of the continuing economic growth, agencies providing temporary staff again increased their turnover substantially in 2007 compared with 2006. The increase was smaller than in 2006. The increase in the number of hours worked by temporary employees was also down in 2007. The increase in hours on secondment was just as large as in 2006, however.
Turnover of temp agencies
Turnover growth past its peak
The turnover in the temp agency branch was more than 19 percent higher in 2007 than in the previous year. In 2006 the increase was 22 percent. In 2004, when the economy was recovering from a number of leaner years, the temp agency branch in particular benefited from the increasing demand for staff. The increase in turnover which started in the second half of 2004, reached its highest level in nine years in the first quarter of 2007. Although the growth subsequently slowed down every quarter, it is still robust. Compared with 2003, turnover was nearly 70 percent higher in 2007. For the third year in a row, the temp agency branch was the largest contributor to turnover growth in the business services sector in 2007.
Hours worked by temp agency workers
Nearly 13 percent more temp hours
The number of hours worked by temp agency workers rose by nearly 13 percent last year. In 2006 this increase was still more than 17 percent. The fall in the growth rate was entirely accounted for by stage A temp hours. The increase in these hours fell from nearly 14 percent in the first quarter to 5 percent in the last quarter of 2007. The increase in the number of secondment hours (stages B+C) was just as high in 2007 as in 2006. Since the third quarter of 2006 the increase in secondment hours has been higher than the increase in the number of temp hours every quarter. This is quite usual after a longer period of economic growth. Because of the increasing labour shortage, companies are more willing to secure staff by offering them permanent contracts.
The rate at which temp hours are growing has been slowing down since the second quarter of 2006, while the growth rate in the number of secondment hours increased up to the first quarter of 2007. Since then the growth rate of the number of secondment hours has also been levelling off slightly