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Europe remains core market for private employment industry


27 Mar 2019


Social Europe & Jobs
The 2019 Economic Report of the World Employment Confederation shows that private employment services developed positively in Europe in 2017. Agency work remains a core segment within the industry, with eight of the largest fifteen agency work markets globally being located in Europe, but other services gained traction.
Brussels, 27th March 2019 – In 2017, the private employment industry in Europe generated €198 billion in global sales and placed 10.8 million individuals in employment through a network of more than 80,000 agencies.
“Most indicators from our 2019 Economic Report paint a positive picture of our industry for 2017,” says Denis Pennel, Managing Director of the World Employment Confederation. “It demonstrates that as the world of work is continually changing, the services provided by private employment agencies are increasingly sought after and contribute to positive labour market outcomes.”
Amongst the five main services covered by the industry, agency work remains the core activity, generating the majority of revenues and employment relationships. In Europe, the United Kingdom is the largest market, followed by Germany, France and the Netherlands. While most European markets have experienced positive market growth rates, Spain and Italy have seen a particularly impressive market boost, with revenue between 2014 and 2017 up 98% and 70% respectively. Overall, eight of the largest fifteen agency work markets globally are located in Europe.
Europe also recorded good results in services like Career Management; the region contributing for the largest share of revenues together with North America. Europe is also seeing growth in Managed Services Providers (MSP) and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) services. In 2017, the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region became the second largest market for RPO.
“Our Economic Report is primarily based on a data collection exercise that we conduct annually with the members of the World Employment Confederation,” explains Even Hagelien, Chairman of the WEC Economic Affairs Committee. “We are constantly striving to improve that process and for this 2019 edition, we have updated our methodology to deliver a more accurate picture of our industry. We also work with external partners such as Staffing Industry Analysts and Everest Group to ensure the most complete assessment of the different HR services.”
In 2017, the private employment industry generated €457 billion in global sales, a 13% year-on-year growth rate. Worldwide, it placed 53 million individuals in employment through a network of 165,000 agencies. The number of internal staff working within private employment agencies reached 2.7 million, a significant expansion compared to the year before.
The 2019 Economic Report of the World Employment Confederation is available on WEC’s website.
About the World Employment Confederation-Europe
The World Employment Confederation-Europe is the voice of the private employment industry at European level. With 30 countries and 8 of the largest international workforce solutions companies as members, the World Employment Confederation–Europe is fully representative of the industry, both in size and diversity.
The World Employment Confederation-Europe works to broaden recognition of the positive economic and social role which the employment industry plays in enabling work, adaptation, security and prosperity. This work involves building networks with relevant stakeholders such as policy makers, social partners and the academic world; setting high recruitment and employment standards and practices; acting as a thought-leader shaping futureproof and competitive labour markets and providing strategic data on employment issues. The World Employment Confederation-Europe is the recognised, EU sectoral social partner for temporary agency work.



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