Worker Shortage Reaching Crisis Levels as 13.6 Million Jobs in US Sitting Unfilled for a Month on Average

Temporary staffing firms, which helped people and businesses navigate the pandemic, may be the solution again, says PeopleReady

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TACOMA, Wash.—July 1, 2021—Jobs, hard to come by during the pandemic, are now sitting vacant by the millions as businesses nationwide have more positions available than people willing to take them. Across the United States, approximately 13.6 million jobs posted right now are remaining vacant for a month on average, and jobs in several sectors are staying open even longer, according to the staffing firm PeopleReady. Contingent workforces, vital to helping people and businesses navigate challenges amid the pandemic, may offer some relief to the worsening workforce problem, PeopleReady says.

With federal unemployment benefits ending in 26 states, many have high hopes that the move will help bring people back to open jobs; however, reports indicate that the action may not significantly address the workforce shortage. Staffing companies are poised to help, according to PeopleReady, and as employers continue to look at solutions, they may need to hire more temporary workers to address immediate staffing challenges.

“Right now, a lot of workers may be more than a little hesitant to jump back into the workforce, particularly to the types of full-time jobs lost during the pandemic. However, the contingent workforce that businesses came to rely on over the past year could be even more crucial now in addressing the worker shortage as people look for increased flexibility,” said Taryn Owen, president of PeopleReady. “A trend we saw emerging several months ago showed that more workers were considering temporary or part-time work than full-time jobs. The increased use of temporary workers and staffing companies’ expertise may help address the shortages many sectors are experiencing right now.”

The trend was identified in a January 2021 PeopleReady survey, which showed the number of respondents considering full-time work decreased 34%, while those considering part-time jobs increased by 27% and those looking toward temporary jobs grew by nearly 50%.

To encourage people to come back to work, PeopleReady is kicking off a sweepstakes for its US associates. Throughout July, those who work through PeopleReady will be automatically entered into the staffing firm’s Work, Win, Drive sweepstakes, which includes drawings to win $100,000 in cash and prizes, and a grand-prize drawing for a new Honda Civic similar to the one two-time Indy 500 champ Takuma Sato drove in PeopleReady’s Ride to Work commercial. For more information on the sweepstakes, including rules, terms and conditions and other ways to participate, people can visit Job seekers looking to connect to work with PeopleReady can find opportunities via its JobStack app and online at  

About PeopleReady 

PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI), specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 98,000 businesses and put approximately 221,000 people to work in 2020. Learn more at

PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI), specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, retail and hospitality. Leveraging its game changing JobStack staffing app and presence in more than 600 markets throughout North America, PeopleReady served approximately 83,000 businesses and put approximately 226,000 people to work in 2022.