U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.8 million temporary and contract workers per day in 2011, up 8% from 2010, according to figures released by the American Staffing Association (ASA). U.S. staffing firms hired 12.9 million temporary and contract employees over the course of the year.

Although the staffing industry employs only two of every 100 nonfarm workers on any given day, it has provided income for millions of American families: about one of every 10 nonfarm workers held a job with a staffing company at some point in 2011, says ASA.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, average daily staffing employment totaled 2.98 million workers, up from 5.2% from the third quarter and up 5.8% from the fourth quarter of 2010. The October through December period marked eight consecutive quarters of year-to-year staffing job growth since 2009.

Temporary and contract sales totaled $98.3 billion in 2011, 12.4% higher than in 2010. Fourth quarter sales totaled $26.2 billion, up 10% from the same quarter last year.

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