ECONOMIC REPORT

The agency work industry
around the world
2012 Edition
(based on figures available for 2010)

The agency work industry
around the world

ECONOMIC REPORT
2012 Edition
(based on figures available for 2010)

Introduction
In 2010, the global agency work
industry recovered much of the ground
lost during the economic downturn
that started in the USA in 2007, and
quickly spread to the rest of the world.
The return to growth was witnessed
in many countries, however some
reported stronger growth than others.
The trends in this report go some way
to showing that the openness and
the socio-economic fabric of national
economies and the flexibility of
their labour markets account for the
difference across countries.
Overall, the total number of agency
workers worldwide was 10.4 million1.
In parallel, global total annual sales
revenues of the agency work industry
1. based on data from 43 countries
2. based on data from 36 countries

4

amounted to €247 billion2. The
negative impact of the economic crisis
on the labour market in general, and
the agency work sector in particular,
began in spring 2008 and accelerated
in 2009. This report shows the recovery
that the industry made in 2010, but
also the continuing trends seen in some
countries throughout 2011.
Most markets began to show positive
growth in the first quarter of 2010. This
trend continued throughout most of
2011, however as the year progressed,
the rate of growth witnessed in Europe
slowed markedly.
Agency work plays - and still has the
potential to play further - a valuable

role in easing transitions within and to
the labour market. Agency work creates
jobs that would not otherwise exist,
enhancing companies’ competitiveness
and workers’ employability, thereby
promoting a labour market that
corresponds better to peoples’ - and
companies’ - needs and aspirations.
In global markets continuing to
deal with the crisis, the agency work
industry’s capacity to anticipate and
match labour market needs with the
required skills is even more crucial,
as agencies serve as career agents
for workers, immediately identifying
job vacancies, providing training,
and facilitating the transition from
unemployment to work, from one

increasing labour market participation.assignment to the next. agency prepared the ground for a job-creating economic upturn. Now more than ever. helping companies face the ongoing global competitive pressure. accelerating and increasing the number of jobs created as the economy recovers. and furthermore. by securing upwards transitions for agency workers. the agency work industry plays a key role in improving the functioning of the labour market. 5 . by facilitating a better and faster match between supply and demand of labour. In addition. and by providing more work opportunities for more people.

6 .

The profile of agency workers a. Inclusion and diversity 28 7 . Agency work and the economic recovery 19 3. Agency workers in numbers 19 4. General trends b. The players 11 2.Content 1.

4 million agency workers in full-time equivalents were employed by private employment agencies across the globe in 20106 • The agency work penetration rate is 1.000 internal staff • In 2010 the total annual sales revenues of the top 10 private employment agencies worldwide accounted for 28% of the total agency work market • In 2010 the global total annual sales revenues amounted to €247 billion5 8 Agency workers in numbers • The USA is the world leader with 27% of total annual sales.5% in Japan and 1. accounting for 38% of global total annual sales revenues • 10.000 branches4 worldwide.6% in Europe7 and 1. followed by the UK at 9% • Europe is the leading regional entity by total annual sales revenues. employing 908.The key facts & figures The players • There are 128.8% in the USA • On average agency workers work around half as many hours as full-time permanent employees8 • Most agency work assignments are more than one month long .000 private employment agencies3 and 176. Japan represents 19% of the global agency work market.

based on data from 29 countries 5. 57% of agency workers in Europe are aged less than 309 compared with 55% outside Europe10 • 77% agency workers have at best finished their secondary education11 • Agency workers work in a wide range of sectors represented most strongly in services and manufacturing Agency work and the economic recovery • Agency work is a bellwether of the economic situation • The private employment agency industry has rebounded sharply since the recession but industry growth has slowed 3. based on data from 19 countries 9 . based on data from 43 countries 7. penetration rate for Europe would be 1. based on data from 17 countries 10. based on data from 9 countries 11. based on data from 34 countries 6.The profile of agency workers • On average. based on data from 29 countries. based on data from 29 countries 9. based on data from 37 countries 4. If Russia is included in calculations.2% 8.

10 .

based on data from 37 countries 13.000 internal staff14 • I n 2010 the total annual sales revenues of the top 10 private employment agencies worldwide accounted for 28% of the total agency work market • I n 2010 the global total annual sales revenues amounted to €247 billion15 •T  he USA is the world leader with 27% of total annual sales. based on data from 29 countries 14. Japan represents 19% of the global agency work market. accounting for 38% of global total annual sales revenues 12. employing 908. followed by the UK at 9% • E urope is the leading regional entity by total annual sales revenues. The players •T  here are 128.000 private employment agencies12 and 176.000 branches13 worldwide.1. based on data from 34 countries 15. based on data from 35 countries 11 .

China. temporary agency workers and their contribution to the labour market | 2009 12 Number of private employment agencies** China Japan USA UK Germany Australia Netherlands South Africa Poland Brazil Czech Republic South Korea* Denmark France Austria Colombia Mexico Hungary* Canada Norway Sweden Finland* Slovenia* Spain Portugal Chile Peru Belgium Slovakia* Romania* Argentina Italy Luxembourg* Lithuania Estonia Macedonia* Greece 49.260 3.000 30. with North America for accounting for 12%.998 1.000 40.049 3..000 50. Japan and the USA are the top three countries in terms of number of PrEAs.200 1.150 2.419 1.”* * ILO ..500 6.000 20.910 11. Based on data from 37 countries 10. Europe accounts for 26% of all PrEAs.500 3.000 private employment agencies.Private employment agencies. For the past three decades.There are 128. accounting collectively for 65% of all agencies worldwide.347 1.000 private employment agencies globally16.000 20. In 2010 there was a recorded 128. the increasing need to provide workers and services to a rapidly growing and flexible labour market has led to the spectacular development of these agencies. The Asia/Pacific region accounts for 57% of all private employment agencies (PrEAs).000 Source: Ciett national federations 2010 *Source: Ciett national federations 2009 **Based on figures from 37 countries . As recognised by the ILO: “Private employment agencies play an important role in the functioning of contemporary labour markets.000 60.200 716 700 667 650 600 500 450 355 350 265 188 170 142 129 129 90 70 41 30 30 27 9 0 16.650 1.000 13.772 1.

The Asia/ Pacific region accounting for 52%. with 176.. South Africa and the USA are the top three countries by number of branches.. characterised by a small number of large companies with an extensive network.000 7.700 1. The “branch to PrEA” ratio varies greatly from country to country. such as Germany or the UK. from a staggering 37. accounting together for 74% of all branches worldwide.600 1.000 6.00017.500 1. and North America for 19%.120 7.602 31.000 branches worldwide In 2010 the total number of PrEA branches was 176. non active 30.000 60. while there is also a number of dormant.000 90.. The global average is 3 branches per PrEA.177 2. characterised by a large number of PrEAs.000 17.228 977 850 800 644 589 465 394 246 214 194 194 164 115 112 73 17 0 10. often operating from a single local branch (some Staffing The players Number of branches** Japan USA UK South Africa Australia France Netherlands Germany Italy South Korea* Canada Austria * Belgium Hungary* Sweden Norway Spain Brazil Slovenia* Argentina Mexico Peru Slovakia* Romania * Colombia Czech Republic Chile Luxembourg* Greece 82. Based on data from 29 countries companies operate without any branches.000 40.267 4.000 Source: Ciett national federations 2010 *Source: Ciett national federations 2009 **Based on figures from 29 countries agencies influencing this number).932 17. This difference can be explained by the very high concentration of the Italian agency work market.000 70.000 50. Europe for 24%.000 80.983 1. Japan. 13 .000 20.400 5.5 branches per PrEA in Italy to a much smaller ratio in Germany or the UK. This is in contrast to highly fragmented markets.

544 5.000 15.007 3.000 140.100 4.000 40.500 20.908. accounting together for 62% of all internal staff worldwide.000 180. despite the presence of several large multinationals operating worldwide.000 Source: Ciett national federations 2010 *Source: Ciett national federations 2009 **Based on figures from 34 countries . Based on data from 34 countries 14 Number of Internal Staff** USA Japan Brazil UK Germany Netherlands South Africa France Sweden Australia Ireland* Italy China Belgium Poland New Zealand Argentina Slovakia* Romania* Mexico Hungary* Finland* Peru Norway South Korea Chile Slovenia* Czech Republic Portugal* Uruguay Bulgaria Austria Luxembourg* Greece 191.600 2.518 2940 2.000 80.000 15.000 people were employed as internal staff by PrEAs in 2010 908.282 95.950 11.000 60.000 160.000 183.511 368 820 750 600 470 400 307 200 0 20.000 100.794 4.865 60. This illustrates that the agency work industry is still mostly composed of small and medium-sized companies. the Asia/Pacific region for 24%.012 3. and 10 per PrEA.000 10. and South America for 21%. and the USA. The top three countries in terms of internal staff are Japan.000 34.560 1.125 1.950 2.000 31. Brazil.000 200.000 120. 18.000 people were employed as internal staff [HR consultants and back-office people working in branches] by PrEAs in 201018.680 1.000 12.723 2. The global average is 4 people employed as internal staff per branch.592 185. Europe accounts for 30%.

The top 10 PrEAs worldwide accounted for 28% of global annual sales revenues in 201019 In 2010 the main global players began their recovery from the economic crisis. In the same year Randstad acquired SFN Group. Randstad aquired SFN Group in 2011 15 . followed by Randstad with $18. The players Top 10 staffing companies in billions of $ 25. thus making Recruit the 4th largest global staffing firm in 2011.1 4.8 billion. Based on data from 35 countries Manpower Randstad Allegis Kelly Recruit Group Services Staffing USG People Hays PLC Robert Half Temp Holdings Source: Staffing Industry Analysts 2010 .4 0 Adecco 19.9 billion. Manpower is the second largest PrEA with $18.3 20.0 10.0 21.0 6.3 billion in total annual sales revenues.2 2. remains the market leader.9 18.8 15.www.8 2.5 4. Adecco.0 5. with $21. It should be noted that in 2011 Recruit acquired the US and European operations of Advantage Resourcing. making it the 4th largest global staffing firm.com Note: Recruit Staffing bought Advantage Resourcing US and Euopean operations in 2011.staffingindustry.0 18.4 5.0 4.

the USA and Japan are global agency work market leaders by total annual sales revenues In 2010. Percentage of total annual sales revenues in 2010 Rest of World 18% Japan 19% UK 9% France 7% Germany 6% USA 27% Australia 5% Netherlands 4% Brazil 3% 16 . Europe accounts for 38% of global total annual sales revenues.In 2010. The Japan represents 19% of the global agency work market. North America for 29% and Asia/ Pacific for 26%. the global market for Agency work accounted for 247 billion Euros. The UK remains the third largest market worldwide with 9% of global total annual sales revenues. The USA is the world leader with 27% of global annual sales.

2. Agency work and the economic recovery •A  gency work is a bellwether of the economic situation •T  he private employment agency industry has rebounded sharply since the recession but industry growth has slowed 17 .

The countries contributing to the weighted European Average account for 58% of the agency work market in Europe. Evolution of number of hours worked by agency workers (year on year) versus EU 27 GDP growth rate (year on year) 30% 6% 20% 4% 10% 2% 0% 0% -10% -2% -20% -4% -30% -6% Q1-08 Q2-08 Q3-08 Q4-08 Q1-09 Q2-09 Change in hours worked (European average) 18 Q3-09 Q4-09 Q1-10 Q2-10 Q3-10 Q4-10 Q1-11 Q2-11 Q3-11 Growth rate of GDP volume Note: The weighted European Average is the year on year change of agency workers in full-time equivalent employment on a daily basis (except where noted otherwise). and diminish when the economy falters. In years of growth. The EU average is calculated by adding the individual country figures multiplied by their percentage of the agency work industry in Europe. as private employment agencies are the first impacted by the crisis.Agency work continues to display a relationship with GDP growth The use of agency work echoes the behaviour of the general economy. . The weighted average determined by the surveyed countries share of the European agency work market in 2009. the evolution of the agency work industry is therefore monitored as such. As a precise indicator of the economic situation. the supply and demand of agency workers increase proportionally. then scaling the figures to one hundred percent. Various studies have confirmed that there is a direct correlation between variations in GDP and the level of use of agency work.

0% -40. Poland is an example of a country where agency work does not have a long history.0% 20.0% 40. Trends for agency work Agency work and the economic recovery Weighted European Average period in 2011 followed by a slowing in the growth of the industry in the third quarter of the year.0% 0. depending on the openness of their economies. however its return to growth following the crisis has been at a lower rate than in other countries. so its strong year on year growth is somewhat expected as it is coming from quite a low base. and their dependence on certain segments of the economy. Accordingly.The agency work industry in Europe’s growth continued throughout 2011 Year on year change in the number of hours worked by agency workers 60. 19 . a country like Germany which weathered the crisis better than most. the maturity of their markets.0% FR BE PL in France and Belgium followed similar patterns with strong growth from mid 2010 through to the same IT NO Jul-11 Sep-11 May-11 Jan-11 Mar-11 Nov-10 Jul-10 CH Sep-10 May-10 Jan-10 Mar-10 Sep-09 DE Nov-09 Jul-09 May-09 Jan-09 Mar-09 Sep-08 NL Nov-08 Jul-08 May-08 Jan-08 -60.0% Mar-08 The crisis affected the different European agency work markets at different times. can be seen to have surpassed the previous levels of temporary agency work achieved before the beginning of the crisis.0% -20. Agency work in the Netherlands suffered a smaller dip than in other countries. Italy has also experienced strong growth throughout 2010 and 2011.

.4% compared with the same period in 2010. Germany’s agency work industry began to grow again as early as May 2009 and in July 2010.Agency work is a bellweather for the economic environment In October. 20 Evolution of the number of hours worked by agency workers (year on year) versus average EU 27 unemployment change (year on year) 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% -10% -20% -30% -40% Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 09 09 09 09 09 09 09 09 09 09 09 09 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 Changes in hours worked (European Average) This can be partly attributed to Germany obtaining more appropriate Y-O-Y Change in unemployment (EU 27) regulations later than in other European countries. an inverse relationship between unemployment levels in the EU and the amount of agency work being carried out is on display. From the beginning of the time series in 2008. the German agency work industry returned to pre-crisis levels of employment. while at the same time year on year unemployment levels have began to rise again. At the same time agency work posted a +1. Recent months have shown the growth of the agency work industry to have slowed considerably.1% rise in hours worked. EU 27 unemployment levels rose by +2.

it rapidly outpaced that of the American workforce at large. as it played its role of buffer.00% 80 -10. But even though the decline in agency work occurred later.00% 90 -5. Agency work and the economic recovery US staffing employment index since 2006 15. cushioning the impact on permanent staff. it has lost jobs until mid 2009 when it began to grow again.00% 70 -15.00% 120 10.00% 100 0.00% 60 6/18/2006 Week-to-Week Change 6/18/2007 6/18/2008 6/18/2009 6/18/2010 6/18/2011 ASA Staffing Index (Set at 100 on 6/12/2006) 21 . The sustained recovery of the industry points that in the economic recovery.00% 110 5.00% -20. Since then.The American agency work market began to recover earlier than the industry in Europe American economic activity measured by employment peaked in December 2007. agency workers are among the first to be hired.

Agency workers in numbers •1  0.4 million agency workers in full-time equivalents were employed by private employment agencies across the globe in 2010 •T  he agency work penetration rate is 1.3.6% in Europe and 1.8% in the USA 22 • On average agency workers work nearly half as much as full-time permanent employees • Most agency work assignments are more than one month long .5% in Japan and 1.

23 .

237 8.000].000]. and the Asia/Pacific region for 13%.000 85. Europe accounts for 35%.000 880.000 62.959 48. Together.000 63.4 million agency workers were employed daily in 201020 In 2010 the total number of agency workers worldwide amounted to 10.584.567 5. the USA.848 68. based on data from 43 countries 21. 24 Daily average number of agency workers (FTE) USA South Africa Brazil Japan UK Germany France Colombia Australia Netherlands Italy Mexico Poland Canada South Korea Spain Portugal* Peru Belgium Hungary* Switzerland Austria Argentina Russia* Sweden Romania* Macedonia* Slovenia * Ireland Czech Republic Chile Norway Finland Denmark Slovakia* Uruguay* Bulgaria* New Zealand Greece Luxembourg* Estonia Latvia Lithuania 2.000 965.000 793. and Brazil account for 44% of all agency workers assigned worldwide.500 2. South Africa has the second highest number of agency workers in fulltime equivalents [967.000 48.689 21. ahead of Brazil [965.250 208.000 87.000].649 21.000 2.000 967.500 16.000 132. The USA employs nearly as many agency workers in full-time equivalents [2.000 90. South Africa.4 million in full-time equivalents21.682 87.000 197.811 21.000 7.350 114.000] and the UK [860.000 4.000 520.000 99.000 68. Japan [960.227 18.000 35.58 million] than the second and third biggest suppliers of agency workers combined.000 60.000 50.190 308. (UK figures are representative of the 2009/2010 financial year). North America for 25%.10.110 20.000 32.000 66.000 81.000 514. ibid Source: Ciett National Federations *Source: Ciett estimate **Based on figures from 43 Countries .000 31.000 960.300 3.

8% 0.6% 2.9% - 2.8% 0.4% 0.6% 0.2% 1.4% 1.3% 0.9% 3. Germany.1% 0.7% 2.2% 1.4% 0.0% 1.6% 0.1% 0.2% 1.1% 0.3% 0.9% 1.2% - 0.3% 0.52% **Denotes Eurostat estimate (Nace code 78.5% 2.3% 1.7% 0.4% 1.7% 1.3% 0.3% 0.7% 1.5% 0.1% 1.4% 2003 1.4% 0.7% 1.8% 1.8%* 1.2% 0.9% 0.0% 0.7% 0. Care should be taken to only make direct comparisons to previous years where data is available.7% 1.3% 0.7% 0.6% 0.1% 1.3% 0.5% 0.8% 2.3% 0.9% - 2.2% 0.7% 0.1% 1. and the opening up of new markets in Central and Eastern Europe.9% - 1.3% 0.4% 0.2%* 1.0% 4.4% 0.1% 2.6% 0.6% 0.3% 1.5% 0.9% 0.5% 0.5% 1.9% - 2.6% 2.5% 1.6% 0.8%* 0.5% 0.2% 1.6% 0.9% 1.0% 0.7% 0.8%* 2.4% 3.3% 0.7% 0.7%* 0.1% 1.6% 1.9% 1.7% 0.3% 0.0% 3.2% 0.4% 1.7% 0. * Denotes Ciett estimate based on the overall evolution of comparable markets between 2009 and 2010 of 8.6% 0.0% 0.5% 1.9% 0.4% 2004 0.7% 0.8% 2.7% 0.8% 0.7% 0.3% 0.6% 2.7% 0.4% 0.2% 0. It is important to note that with each passing year the level of information available on the number of agency workers has improved leading to more countries being represented.0% 1.6% 2.1% 0.0% 1.3% 1.2% 0.4% 1.2% 0.7% 1.0% 0.4% 1.7% 0.5% 1. and the Nordic countries.7% 1.6% - 1.4% 0.9% 0.6% 0.7% 0.9% 1.9% 3.6% 3.9% 0.2% 0.5%* 0.5% 0.2% 0.5% 1.9% 0.7% 1.2% 4.4% 1.5% 1.7% 0.1% 0.6% 1.4% 0.6% 1.6% 0.4% 0.6% 0.6% 2.7% 1.3% 0.8% 1.5%* 0.0% 3.9% - 2.7% 0.6% 0.2% 0.6% 0.9% 1.7% 2.1%” 0.2% 2.1% 0.6% 0.7% 4.2% 2.2% 2.3% - 0.3% 1.1% 2.3% 2. notably in Italy.5% 0.6% 0.Evolution of the number of agency workers in Europe [FTE] In the last fifteen years.2) 25 .9% 1.3% 1.9% - 2.5% 2.8% 1. the number of agency workers in Europe has greatly increased.7% 1.5% 0.7% 0.4% 2.7% 0.8% 1.7% 0.6% - 1.1% 0.9% 0.8% 0. partially as a result of more appropriate regulation being put in place in formerly tightly regulated labour markets.6%** 0.1% 0.9% 0.1%” 0.9% 0.9% - 2.2% 2.0% 1.8% 1.3% 2.4% 0.6% 0.3% 0.7% - 1.8% 0.9% 0.3% 0.1% 1.2% 0.8% 0.5% 0.2%* 0.2% 1.9% 0.2%* 1.1% 1.9% - 2.0% 1.8% 1.2) Agency workers in numbers Evolution of agency work penetration in Europe Austria Belgium Bulgaria Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland UK 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 0.7% 1.2% 0.9% 0.0% 2.3% 0.5% 0.9% 0.3% 2.3% 1.8% 0.5% 2.3%* 0.4% 2.0% 2.3%* 0.4% 0.0% Source: Ciett national federations *Source: Ciett estimate **Source: Eurostat (Nace Code 78.7% 0.5% 4.2% 0.0%w 1.9% 0.3% 1.2% 0.4% 1.8% 1.4% 2.9% 2.9% - 2.4% 1.4% 0.4% 1.3% 2.2% 0.7% 0.6% 0.9% 2.2% 0.7% 0.4% 2.5% 0.3% 0.0% 0.9% 0.4% 1.4% 0.0% 0.5% 0.6% 0.5% 0.5% 0.7% 4.7% 0.9% 0.6% 1.1% 2.5% 1.6% 0.5% 0.6%** 0.5% 0.3% 0.8% 1.5% 1.9% 1.7% 2.

are all above average.0% 2. the penetration rate for agency work rose. this average hides enormous differences from country to country.7%24.5% 2. Germany with a penetration rate of 2% and Sweden with 1.6% 1.0% Netherlands Across Europe. The average penetration rate in Europe was 1.5% 2009 average 1.4% in 200923 but still a little short of the 2008 average of 1. Germany and the Benelux countries. based on data from 29 countries 24.5% 4.6% in 201022. based on data from 29 countries 23. whereas the markets in Southern and Eastern Europe are all below average.0% in the UK to 0. If included. Nevertheless.0% 0.2% . up from 1. 2010 Note: estimate for Russia not used in calculating European Average.5% 2008 22. ranging from 3.4% 1.0% can be attributed data there referring to the financial year of 2009/2010 rather than 2010 as the other countries are reporting. The fall in penetration rate in the UK to 3. namely the UK. France. Mature markets in Western Europe. based on data from 27 countries 2009 Russia Greece Bulgaria Lithuania Spain Latvia Estonia Slovenia Romania Poland Czech Republic Denmark Macedonia Italy Slovakia Finland Norway Sweden Austria Switzerland Portugal Belgium Hungary Luxembourg France Ireland Germany UK 0.0% 2008 average 1.Agency work nears its 2008 high in 2010 throughout Europe 26 Comparative penetration rate 2008-2010 4.0% 3.1% in Greece.3% are notable for having reached all time highs for agency work penetration.7% 2010 average 1.5% 3. penetration rate in 2010 would be 1.

Evolution of the number of agency workers in the rest of the world [FTE] Outside Europe the number of agency workers has also markedly increased between 1996 and 2010.2% 0.4% 0.1% South Korea - - - - - - - - 0.9% 2. Care should be taken to only make direct comparisons to previous years where data is available. on the global scene.0% 1. such as Brazil and South Africa.0% 1.4% 0.5% Mexico - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5% 0.4% 1.8% 1.4% 0.1% 3.2% 1.7% Brazil - - - - - - - - - - 0.52% Agency workers in numbers Evolution of Agency work in the Rest of the World 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 0. Denotes Ciett estimate based on the overall evolution of comparable markets between 2009 and 2010 of 8.3% 2.0% 0.3% 0.4% 0.4% 0.9% 2.6% South Africa* - - - - - - - - - 2.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.8% 1.3% 0.3% 0.4% 7.6% 0.0% 1.1% 1.1% 2. on account of the gradual deregulation of the Japanese labour market.4% 0.6% 0.2% 2.1% 2.3% 0.8% Argentina** Japan USA** Source: Ciett National Federations *Source: Ciett Estimate **Time series revised compared to previous editions ***Change of methodology in 2009 for calculating FTE workers 27 .1% 0.6% 0.8% 1.1% 2.3% 0.2% 2.3% 0.4% 0.5% 1.3% 2.4%* 1.3% 0. and the advent of emerging markets.9% 1.5% 0.1% 2.3% 0.4% 6.4% Australia - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2.4% 0.4% Colombia - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.3% 0.3% 0.8% 1.0% Chile - - - - - - - - - - 1.2% 0.9% 1. It is important to note that with each passing year the level of information available on the number of agency workers has improved leading to more countries being represented.5% 0.2% 2.3% New Zealand - - - - - - - - - 0.4% 0.8% 2.9% 1.3% 0.5% 0.2% 1.1% 2.2% 1.7% 0.5% 0.7% 1.9% 2.3% Peru - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5% 0.

0% 2008 25. At a mere 0. Evolution of penetration rate 2008-2010 8.0% 7. If included. strong economic growth. and generally relevantly regulated markets.Outside Europe agency work penetration rates vary widely Agency work penetration rates are determined in part by the level of maturity of the market in which they evolve.0% 3.9%25 of the total regional active working population. penetration rate in 2010 would be 1. indicating a potent blend of large user bases. Mature agency work markets are characterised by high penetration rates. based on data from 6 countries 28 2009 USA South Korea Peru New Zealand Mexico Japan Colombia Chile Brazil Australia Argentina 0.2% .0% 2.0% 1. the relatively low penetration rate of agency work in South American countries reveals the region’s considerable potential for growth.0% 6.0% 2010 Note: estimate for Russia not used in calculating European Average.0% 5.0% 4.

this relates to agency work becoming a significant form of employment in these countries. 2010 data based on information from 29 countries Agency workers in numbers 1.5% 0.0% 0. the appropriateness of regulation and degree of economic development explain the differences in pace of growth of the agency work industry. In 2010 the penetration rate for agency work stood at 1. The penetration rate for Agency work in the USA bounced back stronger than eirher Japan or Europe.8% in 2010. 26.5% 1.5% 2. See page 25 for additional information.8% Comparison of european.8% 1. 2. it is important to note that with each passing year a greater number of Ciett national federations report on the number of agency workers. For Europe.0% 1.6%26 in Europe.5% 1. Japanese and USA penetration rates.USA has the highest penetration rate of major markets In Europe. Stricter regulation was imposed in Japan which led to the agency work industry dipping below that seen in the other major markets. reaching 1.6% 1.0% US 1996 1997 Japan 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Europe Note: European average calculated using data from available countries 29 .

Agency workers half as many hours as full-time permanent employees Agency workers tend to work fewer hours during one year than a worker with a full-time.021 1. From country to country.412 1. It should be kept in mind that the average working hours reflects a diversity of situations and profiles of agency workers.616 124 0 500 Average per full-time permanent employee 1.939 534 1.722 1.091 1.689 1. the average number of hours worked by an agency worker compared to the average number of hours worked by a permanent full-time employee varies greatly.414 1.778 1. Germany and Sweden.000 1. open-ended contract – with the the notable exceptions of Colombia.714 1.554 1. Peru.911 Colombia Peru South Africa Germany Sweden Brazil Japan Greece Australia Italy Mexico Slovakia Slovenia Uruguay Hungary Chile Netherlands Poland Switzerland Romania USA Norway France Argentina Spain Belgium Czech Republic Portugal Luxembourg 2. .663 1.733 2.643 465 437 424 415 370 350 337 289 288 222 1.000 Average per agency worker * By an individual during one year Sources : Ciett National Federations.135 1.778 1.068 690 688 1. ILO Kilm 7th edition 30 .866 1.560 1.500 2. from less than 8% in Luxembourg to 141% in Colombia.377 1. Average number of hours worked * 1.664 1.551 1.786 1.419 1.776 1671 1.300 1.109 1.820 1.625 1.014 1.120 1. For instance.200 1. sutdents typically work for short periods of time during school holidays.627 1. therefore lowering the average to a large extent.686 1.961 930 840 2.947 1.

Most agency work assignments are more than one month long Average length of agency work assignments 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% Short-term [< 1 month] Medium-term [1 – 3 months] Czech Republic Brazil Spain UK South Africa Italy Netherlands Belgium USA Peru Switzerland Argentina South Korea Australia Greece Finland Colombia Sweden Norway 0% Germany In most countries. Agency workers in numbers Long-term [3 months] 31 . the average length of assignment of an agency worker exceeds one month. where more than half of the assignments are less than one month long. Only 7% of assignments in Peru and 4% in Sweden last for less than a month. the notable exceptions being France [82%] and Spain [63%]. and often even exceeds three.

4. • 77% agency workers have at best finished their secondary education • 57% of agency workers are aged less than 30 in Europe • Agency workers work in a wide range of sectors represented most strongly in services and manufacturing • Agency workers outside Europe tend to be older 32 . The profile of agency workers • Differences in gender balance depend on the socio-economic fabric of a country.

a. General trends 33 .

such as Germany [70% of men and 48% in the manufacturing sector]. Gender balance of agency workers 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% Male 34 Female Australia Japan Finland Sweden New Zealand UK China USA Peru Brazil Colombia Greece Argentina Czech Republic Poland South Africa Romania Italy Netherlands Mexico Spain Slovenia Slovakia Belgium Macedonia Switzerland France Germany Austria 0% . More servicesoriented markets tend to employ more women. as well as by the sectors allowed to use agency work.Differences in gender balance depend on the socio-economic fabric of a country From country to country. differences in gender balance in agency work are determined by the particular socio-economic fabric and economic history of each country. such as Sweden [60% of women and 57% in the services sector]. whereas markets with a strong industrial history usually employ more men.

Most agency workers in Europe are aged below 30 Average age of agency workers in Europe 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% < 21 21 .25 26 . On average.45 Italy Norway Netherlands Belgium Czech Republic Slovenia Germany Slovakia Romania Greece Hungary Spain France Denmark Macedonia Poland 0% Sweden Young people make up a high proportion of agency workers compared to the total active working population with a majority of agency workers being over 30 years of age. Agency work often serves as a first professional experience for first-time entrants into the labour market. Notable exceptions to this trend are Denmark [70% over 30]. The profile of agency workers > 45 35 . This means that on average. providing them with a valuable initial experience or serving as a steppingstone to permanent employment. 10% of agency workers are under 21 years old with 22% are between 21 and 25 years old. A further 25% are between 25 and 30 Years old. 57% of agency workers are under 30 years old.30 31 . and Macedonia [69% over 30].

where 68% of Agency workers are aged over 30. Average age of agency workers in the rest of the world 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% < 21 36 21 .Agency workers tend to be older outside Europe Agency workers tend to be older in Japan.30 31 . where 58% of agency workers are over 30 and in the US.25 26 .45 > 45 Brazil South Africa Argentina Colombia Mexico New Zealand USA Japan China 0% . This can be explained by the fact that in some of these countries agency work is culturally accepted as a viable alternative to permanent employment.

The profile of agency workers High [completed higher education] 37 . more than half of agency workers have completed higher education.More than a quarter of agency workers have completed higher education Education level of agency workers 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% Low [not completed secondary education] Medium [completed secondary education] South Africa Czech Republic Brazil Switzerland Spain South Korea Netherlands Colombia Italy Argentina Peru Greece Belgium USA Finland UK Norway Australia 0% Sweden On average. and 23% have not. 50% of agency workers worldwide have finished secondary school. the majority of agency workers have a low to medium initial education level. Agency work can play an important role in helping these low-skilled workers enter the labour market and gain valuable experience. On average. In Sweden and Australia. In most countries. 27% of agency workers have completed higher education. The Czech Republic [60%] is the only country to report the majority of agency workers having not completed their secondary education.

the sectoral distribution of agency work in Europe has seen a recent trend away from usage in the industrial sector [31% average]. and 45% of Argentinian agency workers work in the manufacturing sector. Norway [15%] and Peru [15%]. More than three in four Chilean agency workers work in the services sector. towards a growing use in the services sector [37% average]. . as do Peru [43%] and France [23%] in the construction sector. such as Poland [70%] and Czech Republic [65%]. Manufacturing remains an important user of agency work in traditionally industrial economies.Sectoral distribution of agency work 38 Sectoral distribution of agency work 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% Agriculture Manufacturing Construction Services Public Administration Other Poland Czech Republic Germany Argentina Italy France South Korea Belgium Australia Switzerland Spain Mexico Colombia Netherlands Brazil South Africa Norway Chile 0% Greece 10% Peru Reflecting the ongoing mutations of the European economies. Mexico [29%]. make important use of agency work in public administration.

Diversity 39 .b.

the proportion of agency workers aged over 50 has steadily increased from 3% to 4% to 5% to 6%. women returning from childcare breaks.0% 2.The number of agency workers over 50 is increasing in Italy Workers over 50 are underrepresented in the Italian agency work population.2% 6.” Source: Eurofound . In principle.7% 4.8% 2.5% 2.8% 3.0% 0.6% 2002 2003 2.0% 1.0% “Agency work offers groups such as migrant workers.3% 4. disabled and unemployed people across to the labour market. their numbers are continually on the rise. 2006.Temporary Agency Work and Collective Bargaining in the EU | 2009 40 3. 2008 and 2010.0% 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 . Percentage of agency workers over 50 in Italy 7.0% 4.3% 3.6% 5.0% 6. thereby offering pathways into more secure employment. However. In 2004. agency work can help workers develop their skills and experience.0% 5.

Because the agency remains the worker’s employer. Agency work increases labour market flexibility. thereby increasing labour market participation and diversity. Ethnic minorities. labour incapacitated and the long term unemployed accounted for 31% of agency workers in the Netherlands in 2008. Agency work thus integrates “outsiders” in the labour market. The profile of agency workers The percentage of special target groups among temporary employees in the Netherlands 35% 31% 30% 27% 25% 20% 15% 18% 14% 13% 12% 10% 5% 2% 2006 2008 3% 1% 2% 0% Ethnic minorities Older workers (45+) Labour incapacitated Long-term unemployed Total (corrected for overlap) 41 . whilst providing basic rights and working conditions to agency workers. his rights are capitalised from one assignment to the next. older people. who then benefit from the same working conditions as those provided to other agency workers. This is up from 27% in 2006.Agency workers from target groups are on the rise in the Netherlands Agency work gives target groups a viable access to the labour market.

16% are white collar employees and 34% are unskilled blue collar workers.Disabled temporary agency workers take on a range of positions In France. while 7% occupy middle management positions. 43% of disabled workers are classified as skilled blue collar workers. Through private employment agencies. Employment of disabled agency workers in France White collar16% Unskilled blue collar 34% Skilled blue collar 43% 42 Middle management 7% . disabled agency workers are integrated at every level of companies.

Notes 43 .

Notes 44 .

Notes 45 .

Ciett is divided into 6 regional organisations: Africa & Near East. Ciett is the authoritative voice representing the interests of private employment agency industry across the world. Kelly Services. Ciett consists of 47 national federations of private employment agencies and six of the largest staffing companies worldwide: Adecco. Northern and Southern Asia. Founded in 1967. . and Europe [Eurociett]. South America [CLETT&A]. 46 Its main objective is to help its members conduct their businesses in a legal and regulatory environment that is positive and supportive. GI Group. Manpower. Randstad.About Ciett As the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies. North America. and USG People.

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