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Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights Insperity, Kforce and Kelly Services

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 12, 2023 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses Insperity, Inc. (NSP - Free Report) , Kforce, Inc. (KFRC - Free Report) and Kelly Services, Inc. (KELYA - Free Report) .

Industry: Staffing Services


The Zacks Staffing industry stands to benefit from a gradually recovering economy, which encourages additional hiring and wage increase. Further, reduced expenses on the back of the successful work-from-home trend and the ongoing hybrid working model, coupled with higher technology adoption, bode well for the industry.

Insperity, Inc., Kforce, Inc. and Kelly Services, Inc. are some stocks that are likely to gain from the abovementioned industry trends. However, job loss concerns amid market uncertainties persist.

Industry Description

The Zacks Staffing industry comprises companies which provide a wide range of services related to human resources and workforce solutions and services. These include employment screening, recruitment (both for temporary staffing and long-term placements), retirement solutions, human capital management, payroll management, performance management, organizational planning, and financial and expense management.

Some industry participants also provide staffing and risk consulting services, professional staffing services and solutions in the United States and internationally, and business solutions to improve the performance of small and medium-sized businesses and organizational consulting services worldwide.

What's Shaping the Future of the Staffing Industry?

Healthy Demand Environment: The industry has been witnessing growth in revenues and income over the past few years, which enabled most players to pay out stable dividends and repurchase shares. The industry also benefits from the resumption of business activities, which were postponed or restricted by the coronavirus-triggered strict lockdowns across the globe. This led to additional hiring and wage increase.

Economic Recovery: The staffing industry stands to benefit from the renewal of business activities following strict lockdowns across the globe. Economic recovery is evident from the first quarter of 2023 GDP, which, according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, increased at an annual rate of 2%. This improving U.S. economy further encourages additional hiring and wage increase.

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in June 2023. The unemployment rate in June 2023 came down to 3.6% from 3.7% in May 2023. Average hourly earnings in June increased 12 cents to $33.58, registering a 4.4% increase from the year-ago period's reported figure.

Increased Adoption of Technologies: Technology-based recruiting techniques like social media, mobile technology, artificial intelligence and Big Data have become popular. Video-conferencing tools, such as Google Meet, Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams, are used to communicate with clients, conduct interviews and meetings, manage staff virtually and handle remote training and remote surveillance. Also, technologies like the cloud and blockchain offer more storage and safety to HR data. These trends should keep the demand for staffing services in good shape.

The COVID-induced remote working model led to cost savings for many firms by reducing their spending on real estate and reducing business travel. Staffing companies are also finding new opportunities with the digitization of the workforce and demand for software-as-a-service solutions to meet new challenges in the current scenario.

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Gloomy Prospects

The Zacks Staffing industry, housed within the broader Zacks Business Services sector, currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #211. This rank places it in the bottom 16% of more than 250 Zacks industries.

The group's Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates dull near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

The sell-side analysts covering the companies in this industry have been decreasing their estimates. Over the past year, the industry's consensus earnings estimate for the current year has decreased 23.3%.

Despite the cloudy prospects, we present a few stocks that investors can buy or retain, given their sturdy potential. But before that, let's take a look at the industry's recent stock market performance and its current valuation.

Industry's Price Performance

The Zacks Staffing industry has underperformed the broader Zacks Business Services sector and the Zacks S&P 500 composite over the past year.

The industry has gained 1% over this period compared with the 4.3% rally of the broader sector and a 14.1% increase of the Zacks S&P 500 composite.

Industry's Current Valuation

On the basis of EV-to-EBITDA (enterprise value to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization), which is commonly used for valuing staffing stocks because of their high debt levels, the industry is currently trading at 5.85X compared with the S&P 500's 13.39X and the sector's 25.83X.

Over the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 13.27X, as low as 3.63X and at the median of 7.23X.

3 Staffing Stocks to Keep a Close Eye On

We are presenting three stocks that are well-positioned to grow in the near term.

Insperity: This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) Texas-based company provides human resources and business solutions to improve business performance for small and medium-sized businesses. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

An increase in the average number of worksite employees paid per month has been aiding Insperity's top line. Strength across sales, client retention and growth in the client base have also acted as other tailwinds. Consistency in rewarding shareholders through dividend payments and share repurchases boosts investor confidence and positively impacts earnings per share (EPS). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for NSP's 2023 EPS has moved up 4.6% in the past 90 days. NSP's stock has gained 13% over the past year.

Kforce: This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) Florida-based company provides professional staffing services and solutions in the United States and internationally. Kforce's technology staffing and solutions business has helped it stay competitive amid these challenging times. The rising demand for technology solutions has enabled Kforce to increase investments in the cloud-based, technology-enabled operating model. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for KFRC's 2023 EPS has improved 0.3% in the past 90 days. KFRC stock has declined 3% over the past year.

Kelly Services: This Zacks Rank #3 company provides workforce solutions to various industries. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for KELYA's 2023 EPS has moved up 17.4% in the past 90 days. KELYA's stock has declined 10% over the past year.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit  for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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