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Falling employment in personnel services

June 04, 2002

After nearly a decade of unparalleled growth, the number of jobs in business services peaked in September 2000 and then began the steepest job loss in the 43-year history of the industry. As both the largest employer and the weakest component, personnel supply services has driven the recent job decline in business services.

Employment in personnel supply services, September of 1995, 2000, and 2001 (seasonally adjusted)
[Chart data—TXT]

Employment in personnel supply services posted its largest annual decline in absolute terms, down 459,000 or 12 percent, between September 2000 and September 2001. Job losses were concentrated in help supply services, an industry that primarily provides temporary workers to other businesses. Employment agencies—the other component of personnel supply services, which includes intermediaries that match employers with employees—also showed job losses, but to a lesser degree.

Payroll employment data are products of the Current Employment Statistics program. For additional information, see Employment in business services: a year of unprecedented decline, by Rachel Krantz, Monthly Labor Review, April 2002.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Falling employment in personnel services at (visited March 03, 2024).

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