COVID-19: Industrial staffing the most impacted segment
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a tumultuous spring for nearly all business owners and executives, with industrial staffing among the most affected sectors of the economy. April revenue was down a median 32 percent year over year for industrial staffing firms according to SIA’s May Pulse Survey, the steepest decline of any of the skill segments measured in the survey.
In response to revenue declines, industrial staffing firms appear to have been active in taking cost reduction measures; 73 percent of industrial staffing firms reported layoffs of at least some internal staff, with 39 percent of firms laying off 1 percent to 10 percent of internal staff, and 30 percent of firms indicating layoffs of between 11 and 30 percent of internal staff. Almost half of the industrial staffing firms, 47 percent, noted reducing hours of internal staff, while 26 percent reported reducing base salaries, the report shows.
When asked about their biggest current challenge, 11 out of 35 industrial staffing firms (31 percent) noted the headwind of trying to persuade candidates to work temporary assignments when those candidates have the option of collecting an additional 600 US dollars per week in federal unemployment benefits on top of any state unemployment benefits they may be receiving. As part of the CARES Act, these federal benefits will expire on July 31.
In terms of bill rate trends, a net 24 percent of industrial staffing firms reported an increasing trend in bill rates over the past three months. This positive trend in part likely reflects the impact of temporary hazard pay increases offered to front-line workers during the pandemic. Looking ahead six months, only a net 14 percent of staffing firms anticipate an increasing trend in bill rates.
Source: INDUSTRIAL STAFFING REPORT: JUNE 18, 2020
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