The value of shares of publicly traded staffing companies took a hit this week after a sluggish U.S. jobs growth report for March that saw the U.S. temporary workforce shedding 7,500 jobs. That is the first drop since June. Here is how Wall Street viewed the news when the report came out:
- ManpowerGroup shares fell 2.6%
- Robert Half International dropped 3.1%
- Kelly Services declined 1.7%
- TrueBlue Inc. down 3%
“The trend we’ve seen over the last three or four months continues, which is a slow, kind of trudging, clawing out of the hole that we’ve been in,” said Jeff Joerres, chief executive of Milwaukee-based employment services company ManpowerGroup.
“The trend we’ve seen over the last three or four months continues, which is a slow, kind of trudging, clawing out of the hole that we’ve been in.”
Non-farm related flexible staffing also hit the pause button, following a string of steady growth.
And at least according to one CEO, don’t expect big changes any time soon.
“For the second half, we expect more of the same — slow, having some spurts of better months than not,” Joerres said. ”If we get high fuel prices, government bickering, the Euro zone continues to be challenged, companies are going to try to stretch along the lines of more with less. They’ll be asking more from their current employees until they can get some better visibility.”
“For the second half, we expect more of the same — slow, having some spurts of better months than not.”
U.S. employers in March hired the fewest numbers of workers than in the preceding five months.
Joanie Ruge, chief employment analyst of Randstad Holding U.S., a unit of Netherlands-listed Randstad, told Reuters the March U.S. employment report reinforced her view that companies are cautious, but that they are still creating jobs.
“Companies don’t want to be forced to lay off people down the road,” she said. “There’s still a little uncertainty in the markets with what’s happening in Europe, even though the U.S. does seem pretty strong, and I think we’re going to continue to see good jobs growth.”