With unemployment stubbornly hovering near 9 percent, concerns over the ailing economy and the potential of a jobless recovery continue to persist.
However, one segment that is particularly interested in the prospect of job growth is the one most directly involved in it: companies working in staffing and job placement.
"So Three Staffing Companies Walk into a Recession..."
There are three major staffing companies in the United States that each exceed $3 billion in market cap.
Paychex, Inc. (PAYX)
Paychex was founded in 1971 by Tom Golisano. Golisano, who worked at a payroll processor, saw tremendous opportunity in making payroll outsourcing more affordable after noting just how many businesses there were with fewer than 100 employees. After his company shot down the idea, Golisano went into business for himself with only $3,000. Now, Paychex, with a market cap of over $10.5 billion and 564,000 clients, including 1900 in Germany where they have four offices, is an industry leader. While Paychex's share value has gone up and down over the years, losing over 45 percent since reaching its all-time high in November of 2000, and over 5 percent year-to-date, it does offer investors a solid dividend yield of 4.38 percent.
Robert Half International, Inc. (RHI)
Menlo Park, CA-based Robert Half International was the first accounting and finance staffing firm when it was founded in 1948. Now, it's the largest firm in its specialization with more than 350 offices in 42 states and 18 foreign countries. Robert Half also owns Protiviti, a consulting and internal audit firm specializing in risk and advisory services, a company with 60 offices in 23 states and 15 foreign countries. Robert Half has been mired in a rough year, losing almost 12 percent of its share value since January.
ManpowerGroup is a workforce solutions and services provider. The Milwaukee, WI company, formerly Manpower, Inc., was founded in 1948, purchased by Britain's Blue Arrow in 1987, and became independent again in 1991. It services its more than 400,000 clients with 3,900 offices in 82 countries, offering a variety of workforce services including recruitment and assessment, training and development, career management, outsourcing and workforce consulting. ManpowerGroup's shares have taken a beating in 2011, losing nearly 40 percent of their share value year-to-date.
Online Job Search Site Could Also be Affected
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (MWW) operates one of the largest and most successful employment website in the world. The Maynard, MA company was created in 1999 when The Monster Board and Online Careers Center, two early and very popular career websites, merged. Now, Monster has 5,000 employees in 36 countries and features 63 million visitors a month and 1 million job postings at any given point in time. Monster, though, has been suffering of late. In October of 2010, it was passed by Indeed.com as the largest job website in America. Now, over the course of 2011, Monster Worldwide shares have lost nearly 70 percent of their value in a sell off that started with an earning miss on January 27th and has continued throughout the year.
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