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The recruitment market varies considerably from one country to another with the US, Japan and the UK showing the highest degree of fragmentation. The recruitment market can be segmented into general and professional staffing markets. General staffing that includes low skilled, low wage blue collar employees has a larger share as compared to professional staffing that includes higher skilled, higher wages white collar employees. North America represented the single largest market measured in terms of revenues in 2013 followed by Japan, the UK, France and Germany.
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The trend of consolidation in staffing industry is increasing especially in fragmented markets due to several factors. In 2013, especially the first half, a declining trend continued to be registered across the world leading to a fall in labor force participation rate. However, since Q4 2013, a slow revival is being registered in employment rate across the globe, especially the US, the UK, India, Japan, etc. The EU region continues to struggle with its economic revival, especially France, Spain, Greece, among others. Income growth has also come under pressure from rising unemployment, putting downward pressure on real wages in many advanced economies. With the economic revival in the coming months, sources of new employment opportunities can be expected, however, the continuing challenge in overcoming the problem of skill gap in both advanced and emerging economies will continue to affect the staffing industry sales.
Most of the mergers and acquisitions that took place in 2013 were in the IT & Healthcare segment and involved middle sized staffing firms as they proved to be attractive acquisition targets, offering geographic coverage and differentiated...