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Published: Saturday, 6/21/2008

Toledo-area staffing firms struggling to find positions for clients

BY TED FACKLER
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

As unemployment rises, staffing agencies are finding fewer jobs for people hunting for work.

This means that job seekers could have one less place to search for positions.

Local agencies blame the area's poor economy. Complicating the situation, they say: Job-seekers often have limited educations.

"When you hit a recession, the first people laid off are staffing people," said Bruce Rumpf, owner of Job 1 USA, a Toledo staffing agency.

Ironically, contingent and temporary workers are often the first workers hired after a recession because employers are reluctant to quickly add to permanent employment rolls.

"Staffing agencies are the first into a recession, and the first out of a recession," Mr. Rumpf said. Placements have been down the past two years, although recently the firm has begun to find more jobs for its 625 clients, he added.

Jackie Barnes, an executive at Renhill Staffing Services Inc., with offices in Toledo and Perrysburg, agrees the job market is tight but has seen increased openings the past two months.

The medical and educational fields are hiring, she said. But the manufacturing sector remains weak.

"Toledo is a big union city, and it's typical that in the summer they allow nonunion workers to come in," she explained. "But companies aren't calling us this year."

The largest number of openings are in information technology, logistics, medical, clerical, lawn service, and light industrial, several area agencies said.

Manpower Inc., with offices in Maumee and Toledo, said its most popular jobs are in light industry. They include assembly, inspection, production, forklift, and welding jobs.

Many of its job seekers are individuals who've been laid off, operations manager Patty Bernal said.

At Qualified Staffing in Perrysburg, branch manager Maria Nevarez has noticed the same, albeit in an unexpected way.

"I've had a lot of people come to me that are former chief executive officers making $150,000, who are now willing to take my $30,000 job," she said.

"It's tough all across the board right now. People are just trying to work." She also deals with people who have taken employer buyouts and now want to re-enter the work force.

Contact Ted Fackler at:

tfackler@theblade.com

or 419-724-6199.



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