3Q 2012 Overview

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The Master IQNdex illustrates the net direction of temporary labor bill rates by analyzing millions of data points and consolidating all the major job sectors and geographic regions in the US.

The third quarter of 2012 ended the period of rate stability that characterized the first half of the year. Overall bill rates increased 1 percent, with the upward movement occurring in August and September. This change was driven largely by rising bill rates for Professional-Managerial and Technology assignments. The Master IQNdex has risen 1.6% over the past 12 months.

Temporary Worker Rate Change: Master IQNdex

The revised BLS employment figures for the most recent quarter show that temporary hiring increased more than initially reported. This increased demand translated to moderate upward pressure on temporary labor bill rates. The number of individuals employed in temporary agency roles in 3Q 2012 has been level, hovering slightly above the 2.5 million mark. Upward movement in bill rates has not been driven by a uniform rise across all sectors. Bill rates for lower skilled administrative and production tasks remained generally flat in 3Q 2012, while rate increases have been more prevalent in higher skilled technical, planning and analytical roles. This is consistent with a persistent theme in the employment picture: unemployment, and therefore supply, is markedly lower for more educated candidates.