First Canadian staffing index released

The Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services (ACSESS) in conjunction with independent research firm Staffing Industry Analysts, has released a ground breaking index that tracks temporary employment across Canada. ACSESS believes there is a close correlation between staffing industry performance and the state of the economy, which means this index could provide a "near real time" indication of how the Canadian economy is performing.

Initial data covered the period July 2008 through December 2009, and monthly reports are being compiled commencing in 2010. Using July 2008, prior to the recession, as the benchmark index of 100 the following are some interesting findings:

    -   The Canadian Staffing Index continued to rise, cresting in October
        2008 at a reading of 107 suggesting growth in the Canadian Staffing
        Industry of another 7% between July 2008 and October 2008.

    -   The recession started to impact Canadian Staffing Companies after
        this period resulting in a low reading of 65 in May 2009. This
        represents a 35% drop in revenues in the Canadian staffing industry.

    -   Since May 2009 there has been a steady, but slow recovery in revenues
        up until November 2009, when there was a small reversal from a
        reading of 78 in October to 77 in November, possibly caused by the
        introduction of Bill 139 in Ontario and its negative impact on

    -   December continued the downward trend to a reading of 74 but this
        would likely be a seasonal adjustment based upon people working less
        hours due to the holiday period.

As of December 2009 the index suggests Canadian staffing companies are still 26 per cent below the benchmark July 2008 numbers (31 per cent below the October high). This suggests a recovery is underway but, in line with other thinking, it is a slow and steady recovery.

Each month's index data is collected and compiled by Staffing Industry Analysts, the premier research and analysis firm covering temporary employment and the contingent workforce.  The data is provided by a representative number of Canadian staffing companies providing services in provinces across the country.

The data is collected on a monthly basis, with the initial data capture going back to July 2008, providing real historical insight into the Canadian staffing landscape. The data sample collected is based on hours worked by temporary employees and is not seasonally adjusted. In the July 2008 benchmark month, the data represented more than 30,000 individuals employed as temporary employees across Canada.

ACSESS believes that this "real data" supports U.S. evidence that the Staffing Industry is a barometer of economic performance, and will provide information for economists, politicians, analysts, researchers and journalists in addition to members of the staffing industry. Currently the data is available for the months July 2008 (the benchmark month) through to December 2009. Monthly updates will follow.

ACSESS is the single voice for promoting best practices and ethical standards for the recruitment, employment and staffing services industry in Canada. For more information, visit

Staffing Industry Analysts is the premier research and analysis firm covering temporary employment and the contingent workforce. Known for its independent and objective insights, the company's proprietary research, data, support tools, publications, and executive conferences provide a competitive edge to decision-makers who supply and buy temporary staffing. In addition to temporary staffing, Staffing Industry Analysts also covers these related staffing service sectors: third-party placement, outplacement, and staff leasing (PEOs). Founded in 1989, the company is headquartered in Los Altos, California. For more information, visit