The staffing industry added nearly 130,000 jobs in the third quarter of this year, despite continued losses in overall employment in the U.S., according to the American Staffing Association.

This was the first increase the staffing industry has seen in seven quarters, the ASA said. Staffing companies reported employing an average of 2.1 million temporary and contract workers per day from July through September.

“Staffing job numbers started to increase weekly at the beginning of July,” said ASA president and chief executive officer Richard Wahlquist. “The ASA Staffing Index has ticked up every week since then, expect for the week of the Labor Day holiday, suggesting that the economy is in the early stages of recovery.”

Despite the increase, the number of jobs remains substantially lower than during the same time period last year, the ASA said.

Robin Marsh, senior vice president of Acloché HR, told Columbus Business First magazine in November that while Acloché did see a significant drop in business, things are starting to turn around.

“As a staffing company, we are a leading indicator for the broader economy and contingent or temporary staff are usually the first to exit during a downturn, despite the fact that the cost of temporary staff is significantly lower and provides much less financial liability to employers than the cost of regular staff,” Marsh said. “As the economy picks up, temporary associates are the first people returned to work – it’s cyclical.”

Unemployment rates continue to rise across the country and in Ohio. The national unemployment rate climbed to 10.2 percent in October, with Ohio’s unemployment rate reaching 10.5 percent.

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