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Temp work seeing shift to more sectors

Posted on November 21st, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the temporary help services industry has added more than 550,000 jobs since June 2009, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

That accounts for 54 percent of all jobs across all sectors of the economy and represents the "painfully slow" transition to permanent payrolling, given the stagnant 9 percent unemployment rate, the news source adds.

"Companies are migrating their workforce from 100 percent core down to 80 or 90 percent core, and then leaving 10 to 20 percent of their workforce as what I would call 'perpetual contractors' or 'definite temps' with no expectation to ever move those people back to their core workforce," David Lewis, executive director of franchising at an Oklahoma City-based staffing firm, tells the news source.

He adds that in the past, temporary workers were typically hired in low-paying industries such as construction and manufacturing. However, that range has since expanded across all sectors, including high-skilled areas like engineering, accounting and healthcare.

The trend toward temps could also be seen in a June survey from consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which found that 58 percent of employers intend to hire more "part-time, temporary or contract workers" over the next five years.

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