The Nature and Role of Temporary Help Work in the U.S. Economy

New Research by the Upjohn Institute on the Nature and Role of Temporary Workers

Although only about 2 percent of wage and salary workers are employed in the temporary help industry, temporary agencies account for a much larger share of the U.S. workforce in blue collar occupations and play an outsized role in workforce adjustment during recessions and recoveries. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8.4 percent of workers in production occupations and 16.1 percent of workers in material-moving occupations (such as warehouse workers and industrial truck drivers) are hired through staffing companies. Reflecting, in part, the concentration of its employment in cyclically sensitive occupations, the temporary help industry contracted by 30 percent and accounted for 11 percent of net employment losses economy-wide during the Great Recession. Download and read the article here.

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