After three years of steady declines in employment data,
enterprises of all stripes are beginning boost headcount as they
prepare for an economic recovery. But some firms remain leery of
adding full-time employees to the rolls. Temporary workers are
stepping in to fill the gap.
Recent data suggests that the US economy remains on an upward
trajectory, continuing on the path of recovery set in 2010. The
positive effects are finally being felt in the labor market, where
the unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in December from 9.8
percent in November. ADP Employer Services also reported that
private-sector employment grew by 297,000 in December, though
analysts believe this figure may be influenced by seasonal factors.
But the employment sector experiencing the greatest gains is
It's not unusual for temporary staffing to be the
best-performing sector of the labor market in a post-recession
environment. As economies improve, reeling consumers struggle to
find their footing, leading to lumpy demand for goods and services.
This translates into slow hiring. Employers often choose to hire
temporary workers in such an environment because it saves costs
until the economy builds a full head of steam.
) is a Tacoma, WA-based temporary staffing company that focuses on
blue-collar workers. Under the TrueBlue umbrella, the firm provides
staffing services through five brands. Labor Ready focuses on the
general labor market; Spartan Staffing provides workers in light
industry; CLP Resources focuses on skilled trades; PlaneTechs
offers aviation and diesel mechanics and technicians; and
Centerline provides professional truck drivers on a temporary
TrueBlue successfully navigated the downturn in the labor market
and managed to post stronger earnings than many of its peers. Many
expected the firm's heavy emphasis on serving the construction
sector would lead it to falter as the recession deepened. But after
an initial stumble in earnings, TrueBlue's management shifted its
focus to meeting the needs of light industry, manufacturing and
other blue-collar jobs. Despite being known for working with small
and midsize companies, the firm aggressively expanded its
relationships with larger employers. Additionally, TrueBlue moved
aggressively to reduce its headcount and to close staffing offices
that produced low business volumes.
Those moves have led to impressive growth in same-branch
revenue--up 23 percent in the most recent quarter--as demand for
temporary workers has soared, particularly in the manufacturing
sector. Based on that strong improvement, the firm's total revenue
in 2010 should be just over $1.1 billion, and 2011
revenues--currently forecast at $1.2 billion--should surprise to
Several developments will benefit TrueBlue in 2011.
The company's extensive relationships with small and midsize
businesses--usually the first to hire as the economy improves-
should help drive placements.
Additionally, tighter regulation of the trucking industry will
take effect this year, including shorter work hours for drivers,
which should benefit TrueBlue's Centerline staffing brand. As the
cost of maintaining a staff of full-time drivers rises, trucking
companies will want to add more temporary drivers to their staffing
Finally, the firm's mix of blue-collar workers, lower-skilled
workers and skilled laborers firmly positions TrueBlue at the
epicenter of the economic recovery, just as American industrial
activity reawakens. Look for strong growth in coming quarters.
Article Republished with permission from <a href="http://www.KCIinvesting.com" rel="nofollow">www.KCIinvesting.com</a> and <a href="http://www.rukeyser.com" rel="nofollow">www.rukeyser.com</a>