* Temp payrolls add about 34,000 jobs in October
* U.S. unemployment rate tops 10 pct
By Helen Chernikoff
NEW YORK, Nov 6 U.S. temporary staffing --
historically one of the first areas to show evidence of a jobs
recovery -- surged in October, adding about 34,000 jobs in a
positive sign for the overall economy even as the overall
employment rate rose above 10 percent.
Unemployment rose to 10.2 percent in October from 9.8
percent in September, but the spike in temporary help payrolls
is reason for optimism, said Scot Melland, chief executive of
Dice Holdings Inc (DHX.N), which operates Web-based job
"Psychologically, this is a tough one," Melland said. "But
if companies are increasing their use of temporary services,
that is a good sign for the coming months."
Zurich-based Adecco SA ADEN.VX, the world's largest
staffing company, also said on Nov. 5 that a pickup in demand
for temporary workers in its third quarter points to a broader
economic recovery in the offing.
Dice Holdings saw a third-quarter increase in technology
and engineering employers searching its resume database, in
addition to a spike in the number of job postings in the New
York and Silicon Valley tech markets, Melland said.
Despite the surge in temporary hiring, the economy lost
190,000 jobs in October, driving the unemployment rate to its
highest level since April 1983.
"Unfortunately, we're still shedding jobs," Melland said.
"We've crossed the 10 percent barrier, which we've only crossed
a few times in history. That shows how difficult the situation
Another area of strength was manufacturing and logistics,
said Roy Krause, head of Spherion Corp SFN.N, one of the
largest U.S. temporary staffing companies.
An increase in industrial staffing tends to be a leading
indicator of better times, Krause said, because it means
companies are building inventory for sale, which tends to
precede hiring for call centers or administration.
"Maybe July, August, September really was the bottom,"
Krause said. "If we can sustain the growth of temporary
numbers, we should see the negative change in job numbers get
smaller and eventually turn positive."
(Reporting by Helen Chernikoff; Editing by Gary Hill)