The workforce solutions industry has become increasingly dynamic in recent years. After a strong recovery from the pandemic in 2021 and 2022, 2023 was a more challenging year for many companies in the ecosystem, due to inflation, high interest rates, global conflicts, and a pullback in demand from peak levels in the prior year. Despite these challenges, the landscape of workforce solutions remains strong due to demographic and structural factors that make qualified workers scarce in many segments of the global economy.

This year, we estimated that the global staffing industry declined 2%, reaching a size of USD 640 billion. However, the highly automated “staffing platform” model of staffing continued to grow rapidly, with revenue growing 58% year-on-year to reach $21.0 billion. Meanwhile, online job advertising saw a decline in 2023, with job board companies across the world forced to lay off staff. Meanwhile, trends were mixed for other talent acquisition technologies, from VMS systems to background check providers to talent platforms. We estimate that the talent platform market grew 3% in 2023, reaching a size of $17.3 billion.

There was also a notable increase in payrolling and independent contractor compliance services, with providers aiming to deliver global capabilities and attract