Temporary Jobs � A Key Source of US Job Growth

  | James Innes

Since the last recession, temporary hires have been a key source of growth in the US economy. Whilst hardly household names, firms such as Adecco, Allegis and Randstad have played an increasingly prominent role in supplying temporary labor from Fortune 500 companies down to local businesses and stores, taking advantage of what has been labelled “domestic outsourcing”.

Companies have increasingly turned to temporary labor to fill staffing needs, relying on contingency workers to fulfil roles rather than committing to permanent hires. Employers like using temps. They are cheaper, easier to hire and fire, and have less employment rights than their full-time equivalents.

Whilst temporary workers used to be associated with clerical and light industrial work, these days they can be found in all walks of life and employment, including high wage, high skill jobs. CFOs, engineers, surgeons – even pilots can be temps, whilst IT and health care are the sectors which have reported the fastest growth of such labour.

Temping is now big business. In 2015 nearly 16 million Americans worked as a temp or contractor for a staffing agency, with such placements generating revenue of US $120 bn., more than US $13 bn. more than Amazon.

Temporary workers accounted for more than 2% of US employment last year, and this trend is set to continue to grow.

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