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Industry analyst De Bellas & Co. reports that Q1 2004 was the staffing industryís third consecutive period of rising M&A activity, with 44 deals closed, the highest number since 2000.
Growing particularly rapidly were transactions featuring IT staffing firms: seven in Q1 versus a total of eight in 2003.
2004ís busiest five acquirers in this yearís first quarter were Ciber, MPS, CGI, Labor Ready and Keane, this group accounting for about 15% of announced transactions.
What is throwing gasoline on the fire of generally rising demand for outsourced services is the fact that many employers prefer -- at the onset of economic recoveries -- to keep their fixed costs low by bringing on outside labor services first rather than hiring more employees.
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