eached its lowest level since July 2022. U.S growth slowed to 1.1% in the first quarter of the year. High interest rates continue to decrease capital spending throughout the country. All factors point toward an economy that may struggle in the near term. Certain sectors will bear the brunt more than others. If the past is any indication of the future, expect the staffing space to slow significantly. Interest rates soared to over 6% during the Great Recession that spanned 2007 to 2009. As we currently hover around 7% and face some of the same employment challenges that we did during that period, the Great Recession could be a template for what to expect in the near term. Source: Bloomberg Public staffing firms saw an 85% decrease in earnings per share (EPS) during the Great Recession. Since the start of the pandemic, those firms have experienced a 7% decrease in EPS. Both are significantly lower than any other subsector in the business services space. Expect that percentage to worsen if we continue to experience economic shocks, such as the recent banking failures. We expect to see similar negative effects on middle market staffing firms. Traditional staffing firms may transform and pivot to new service offerings to remain relevant and stay afloat. For example, in previous times of stress, traditional staffing firms offered payroll processing services, workforce management, outsourced human resource functions and other workforce consulting services.