Staffing company stocks are a smart bet on a muddled labor market

Vishesh Kumar
staffing-company-stocks-are-a-smart-bet-on-a-muddled-labor-marke
staffing-company-stocks-are-a-smart-bet-on-a-muddled-labor-marke

A chorus of critics is taking issue with the surprisingly strong jobs picture the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday. Some are taking aim at the high number of temp and government hires. Others are pointing out that the numbers might be a fluke since they don't jibe with the outlook recently presented by ADP, the country's largest processor of payroll information.

Shares of staffing companies like Manpower (MAN) and Robert Half International (RHI), meanwhile, have traded in tandem with the initial euphoria and then skepticism surrounding the outlook. Shares soared more than 10% on Friday, but slipped on Monday despite a slew of analyst upgrades for the sector.