IES Blog

High number of temporary workers is a good sign for businesses and employees

Posted on June 6th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

Temporary workers account for almost 19 percent of all new jobs since June 2009. As reporter Jeff Green writes in Bloomberg, this is close to the record high percentage of temporary workers in the labor force in April 2000.

Businesses that need new hires are still feeling tentative as they bounce back from the recession. They prefer, in many cases, to make a limited rather than indefinite commitment in case of financial setbacks. It is a truism of the staffing industry that temporary workers rise and fall in number as the economy fluctuates: short-term staff are often the first to find themselves out of work during a downturn, and the first to be hired when the financial pace picks up again. This near-record high is promising for the direction of the American economy.

It's also positive for contract workers. Many find a permanent position that began as short-term work. Of those who have not been hired on a permanent basis, one-quarter say that they would not be interested in such an offer, citing such benefits of contract work as a flexible schedule and more time with their families.

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