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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Post Tells Us That the Surge in Temporary Jobs Reflects "Fundamental Change in American Workplace"

Post Tells Us That the Surge in Temporary Jobs Reflects "Fundamental Change in American Workplace"

Monday, 20 February 2012 12:57

That's the headline of a Washington Post piece that told readers that more than one quarter of the workers who have found new jobs in the recovery are working in temporary positions according to government data. (It also refers to private surveys that show a higher percentage.)

The only problem with this story is that employment in the temporary help sector is still down by almost 20 percent from its pre-recession level, as can be seen in the chart accompanying the piece. As Texas Governor Rick Perry says, "oops."

Comments (2)Add Comment
Evolution of a recovery
written by David, February 20, 2012 1:02
An additional point that they seemed to miss is that one would expect re-employment to begin more strongly in the temp job market, since demand can hardly be said to have clearly risen. And temp jobs many time come with a promise at 6-12 months review to consider a permanent contract (I have no stats on that though). So, the jury is still out on the recovery, probably, but tentative signs of increasing activity.
written by Jay, February 20, 2012 5:39
There are a large number of college educated people that have to work temporary positions. It's usually a way for employers to avoid paying for fringe benefits and contributing to retirement. It also allows employers to quickly cut costs and avoid the administrative burden of recruiting or managing personnel files. It is a shame that things have become so cost driven at the expense of employment security.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.