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Local staffing agencies’ “total turnaround” could hint economic recovery

Andrew Del Greco – News 4 in Reno, NV

After we heard about the latest positive jobs report, we decided to check into the area’s staffing service industry. That industry is said to be one of the first to indicate the beginning of an economic recovery.

We called staffing service after staffing service. They all told us the exact same thing. They are seeing a “total turnaround” in the first part of 2010, and expect even better as the months go on.

For anyone who’s still been unable to land a new job, any talk of economic recovery can be hard to believe, but many say some signs are beginning to show.

Whether or not we like to crunch numbers, sometimes it’s those numbers which best tell a story.

Inside Spherion Staffing in Reno, manager Brian Lytle tells us so far this year compared to last; there’s been a 100 percent increase in clients who’ve landed jobs.

“It really changes somebody’s life when you get them a job,” said Lytle of his job.

And inside places like Ultimate Staffing, there’s been a 40 percent increase, with 15 new accounts in recent weeks putting people back to work.

“Our employees are much happier, clients are much happier, people are just busy,” said Ultimate Staffing Branch Manager Michelle Morisette.

Nick Flemming, with the help of Ultimate’s branch manager, now has a job once again.

“I came to the staffing service and within a week I had my job,” said Flemming.

Michelle’s employees stay busy… as any stigma attached to staffing companies has all but disappeared. Years ago hopeful workers had to pay for the service, and people floated the idea that “temp is a temp” for a reason.

But now the service is free upfront and the world’s reality has changed.

“There are a lot of great employees out there who just don’t have work,” said Morisette.

We’re learning that for those still out of work, now is the time to register with one of these companies. That’s because at this stage in the game, many companies are starting to hire again, but they don’t fully trust the economy. So they’re hiring temporary workers who, granted, could be easily let go, but who nowadays have the real possibility of staying with a company permanently.

“It’s a benefit and a win-win for everybody!” Morisette said.

The staffing industry, which staffs all sorts of companies, says this positive trend could mean the beginning of an economic rebound.

“We’re usually 3 to 6 months ahead of the curve,” said Lytle.

No one knows that better than people like Flemming, who will enjoy his weekend, then head to work on Monday.

The staffing industry says it’s not just warehouse and manufacturing jobs which are hiring, but also distribution, sales, engineering and high level skilled positions.