After a dismal showing in September, when the number of hours worked by agency workers and contractors in Europe hit a 12-month low, the average bounced back in October to hit a year-on-year growth of 2.5%, new figures from Eurociett reveal.

With one or two exceptions, the figures suggests that Umbrella Company employees and their European counterparts remain in demand by employers across the continent as they seek skilled flexible professionals to help manage changing business demands and complete business-critical projects.

France, sadly, fell even further down the table from the September low, dropping from -3.5% to -4.5% in October; however, agency work in Germany has moved out of the negative growth it underwent in July and August to achieve a modest growth of 0.4% in September.

Italy and Poland both put in strong performances in October, with Poland seeing the largest year-on-growth in turnover in Europe at 18.1%; in fact, all the countries monitored in the Eurociett survey have shown positive turnover, with the single exception of France.

Turnover aside, however, Poland lost its position at the top of the agency work growth league table to Italy.

Agency work intriguingly grew ahead of the general employment curve, suggesting that temporary/contractor hiring is a reliable indicator for unemployment levels. Employers across Europe, it seems, turn to skilled independent professionals and other temporary workers when they wish to respond rapidly to fluctuating business demands and changing economic developments.

The average rate of growth in agency work across Europe has been easing in recent months, which is a trend that corresponds with falling general unemployment.

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