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Staffing Agencies In Ohio See Business Declines Amid COVID Outbreak

The BarryStaff agency in Dayton.
The BarryStaff agency in Dayton.

More than 135,000 workers in Ohio every week actually work for temporary staffing agencies. And though it isn’t clear yet how many of those workers have been affected by the economic downturn, staffing agencies here in Ohio say many of their employees aren’t working.

At Barry Staff in Dayton, roughly half of their workers can’t report to their jobs because of the coronavirus.

“It's put a big burden on folks,” says Agency President, Doug Barry. “They’ve had to be laid off during this point in time or, you know, whatever job they were doing, whatever company they're at has had to slow down.”

He says before the COVID outbreak his firm couldn’t keep up with the demand for workers.

“It doesn't matter, really, what industry or what level, we had a huge worker shortage and COVID has taken care of that for us right now.”

At Crown Staffing Solutions in Columbus, many workers are out of jobs there, too. But Communications Director Christy Clark says Crown is encouraging workers to use this time to its potential.

“It's a great time to update resumés. It's a great time to learn new skills,” she says.  “I think if we take this time to do that, we're going to really come out of this. Most people will as the quarantine is lifted.”

She says staffing agencies tend to do well at the end of recessions, when a growing workforce is needed. Clark says Crown Staffing expects to be very busy again, once work restrictions are lifted.

Jerry began volunteering at WYSO in 1991 and hosting Sunday night's Alpha Rhythms in 1992. He joined the YSO staff in 2007 as Morning Edition Host, then All Things Considered. He's hosted Sunday morning's WYSO Weekend since 2008 and produced several radio dramas and specials . In 2009 Jerry received the Best Feature award from Public Radio News Directors Inc., and was named the 2023 winner of the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Best Anchor/News Host award. His current, heart-felt projects include the occasional series Bulletin Board Diaries, which focuses on local, old-school advertisers and small business owners. He has also returned as the co-host Alpha Rhythms.