IQNavigator came out with its latest IQNdex report for the second quarter of 2013. The index, updated quarterly, provides useful data on bill rates for temporary labor in the U.S. Aside from minor dips in 2009 and 2010, the national rate has increased by 7.4% since January 2008.
The bill rate refers not to wages but more accurately to the total cost to companies of bringing on temporary workers, which makes the trend data contained in the report useful in services procurement budgeting and planning.
Here are some highlights from the report:
- The professional field that has seen the most significant growth in temporary labor bill rate is the technical-IT sector, and this quarter saw rate increases for software developers and desktop support employees. In contrast, the rate for the professional-managerial sector has been dropping steadily since late 2012.
- The regional view of bill rates shows minimal changes. In the Northeast, rates rose 0.7%, whereas rates in other parts of the country have largely remained the same.
- The “hot spots” for bill rates – that is, the cities that have seen the biggest increase in the second quarter – are Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York.
- The “cool spots” are Washington, D.C. (where bill rates decreased across all four sectors of light industrial, office-clerical, professional-managerial, and technical-IT), Chicago, San Francisco, and Denver.
The report makes the curious point that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may affect staffing decisions in favor of more temporary workers. The legislation better known as “Obamacare” is just beginning to be phased in. Companies with more than 50 full-time employees are categorized as a large firm and would have to provide healthcare or pay an excise tax. French firms, at least, tend to freeze hiring at 49 employees to avoid the bothersome regulations that a 50th hire brings on.
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