Shares of staffing services and recruiting companies got a nice boost from data showing a big jump in hiring in June.
Among the more active stocks in the sector, Robert Half International (RHI) advanced 1%. The stock has run up 16% so far this year, and was on track to close at an all-time high.
The stocks all outperformed the S&P 500 (^GSPC) , which gained 0.3%.
Earlier, the Labor Department said the U.S. created 288,000 jobs in June, well above expectations of 215,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to a near six-year low of 6.1%.
Analyst Jeffrey Silber at BMO Capital Markets wrote in a note to clients that the June jobs data was”positive” for the sector, given the continued strength in temporary hiring. He noted although the pace of year-over-year growth in temporary jobs in June slowed slightly from May, temporary jobs as a percentage of the total workforce hit an all-time high of 2.068%.
Silber added that the slight drop in average weekly overtime hours worked in June, to 4.5 hours from 4.6 hours in May, may show that less overtime is being used as a substitute for temporary labor.
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Tomi Kilgore is a MarketWatch writer and editor based in New York.
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