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Integrated Solutions Lead
San Antonio, TX

Advanced knowledge of programming language(s), software development tools and environment(s) and systems analysis and functional design

The Times Have Changed

February 17, 2014
The Times Have Changed

Current Labor Indicators

  • Total Unemployment: 6.6%
  • College Educated Unemployment: 3.2%
  • Total Job Loss/Gain: +113,000
  • Temporary Penetration Rate: 2.02%


We are in a period that is unlike any we have ever seen in my 25 years in the professional staffing industry. Moderate GDP growth rates have resulted in a disproportionate share of job growth coming in the temporary staffing sector. The temp penetration rate reached 2.06% in December, surpassing the prior all time high reached at the height of the Y2K, ERP and .com tech trifecta. For the year 2013, fully 10% of total job growth came from temp staffing. These facts alone are significant for our industry and indicate that the Flex Supercycle is real. Tech flex is performing particularly well and we believe the temp penetration rate in Tech is significantly greater than “headline” BLS number, driven by secular shifts as well as the ubiquitous nature of technology today across our client’s business platforms. Professional staffing growth has moved from cyclical to secular as the benefits we bring to the labor markets manifest themselves and our clients are institutionalizing a fixed percentage of their workforce as variable. This is in no small part due to the myriad of economic and regulatory uncertainties, as well as the ever increasing project nature of work, particularly in technology.

In a nutshell, January’s light BLS data was likely driven by the extraordinary degree of widespread, disruptive winter storms. And, in fact, the demand for skilled professionals remained very much intact.  

175,000 private sector jobs were created

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, ADP and Moody Analytics

Click here to download the PDF version of the Blackman Report.

About the author

Michael Blackman

As Chief Corporate Development Officer, Michael Blackman, a twenty year Kforce veteran, is the primary focal point for the Firm with the Wall Street investment and financial communities. He is regularly sought out by leading economists for his perspectives on the economy and labor markets, and contributes to a number of key proprietary economic publications.


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Kforce is a professional staffing and solutions firm providing flexible and permanent placement solutions in the skill areas of technology, finance & accounting and healthcare. Kforce operates in more than 60 offices located throughout the United States and one office in the Philippines.
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