Today’s release from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that total nonfarm employment rose by +253,000 in April, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The temporary help services industry, however, saw a decline of -23,300 jobs, indicating that labor scarcity remains a challenge.

The national unemployment rate declined to 3.4% from 3.5% in March, and the labor force participation rate remained at 62.6%. Employment expanded in most industry groups with the largest gains occurring in Professional services (excluding temporary help), Health and social assistance, and Leisure and hospitality.

Average monthly payroll growth has exceeded forecasts for thirteen consecutive months, illustrating the strength and resilience of the US labor market. Despite the high job numbers, temporary help services employment has fallen each of the past three months and is now 35,200 below its December 2022 level. Companies may be taking precautionary measures, such as cutting marketing expenses and decreasing use of temporary and contract workers, even as labor scarcity sees them retain and hire new direct employees.

The staffing industry – while cooling after years of record highs – is still elevated against its pre-pandemic history. Even a plateau in the staffing industry implies large opportunities for staffing firms with a