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3 industry leading staffing firms as job market heats up

By James Dennin for Kapitall.

The worst part of the economic recovery so far has been what is probably the most important part: wages.

By most other measures, the economy has done very well since President Obama took over. Growth has averaged around 2%, unemployment fell from 9% to 6%, and the stock market has returned around 300%. But the part of economic growth that really matters, at least to people who aren't living off of portfolio gains, is wages-which have steadily trailed most of the other readings.

That's starting to change, however, according to some economists and staffing agency professionals, who say that the job market is starting to favor employees more . There's even talk of this setting off the so-called virtuous circle, where greater household earnings spur expenditures, which in turn inspire employers to take on more workers.

One obvious beneficiary of the trend would be staffing firms, who are the ones who help companies that are struggling to fill roles. A more competitive job market means they can charge more to find good people-which could boost earnings.

To build this screen we looked for stocks that work in the professional services industry with a focus on staffing needs. We then looked for specifically the companies whose projected earnings per share gains for the next year beat the industry average.

Do you think it will be a big year for employment services stocks? Use the list below to begin your analysis.

Click on the interactive chart to view data over time.

1. Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. ( CCRN , Earnings , Analysts , Financials ): Provides staffing and outsourcing services to the healthcare market primarily in the United States. Market cap at $225.93M, most recent closing price at $7.26.

Projected EPS Growth (Next Year vs. This Year): 1,900%

Industry Average (Professional Services): 16.54%

2. Dice Holdings, Inc. ( DHX , Earnings , Analysts , Financials ): Provides online recruiting and career development services. Market cap at $455.12M, most recent closing price at $8.48.

Projected EPS Growth (Next Year vs. This Year): 20.93%.

Industry Average (Professional Services): 16.54%

3. Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. ( HSII , Earnings , Analysts , Financials ): Provides executive search and leadership consulting services in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Market cap at $348.92M, most recent closing price at $19.14.

Projected EPS Growth (Next Year vs. This Year): 35.94%

Industry Average (Professional Services): 16.54%

(List compiled by James Dennin. Monthly returns sourced from Zacks Investment Research, EPS data sourced from Fidelity. All other data sourced from Finviz.)

Kapitall Wire is a division of New Kapitall Holdings, LLC. Kapitall Generation, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Kapitall Holdings, LLC. Kapitall Wire offers free investing ideas, intended for educational information purposes only. It should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell securities, or any other product or service provided by New Kapitall Holdings, LLC, and its affiliate companies.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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