Friday, December 31, 2010


Yesterday's weekly jobless claim numbers were better than expected (although not seasonally adjusted, they were actually pretty dismal.)  But before we declare the job problem over, companies do plan to hire in's just that they plan to hire temp workers.

In a CareerBuilder survey released Wednesday, 34 percent of hiring managers said they'll hire contract or temporary workers next year, up from 30 percent this year and 28 percent in 2009.

Research by The Human Capital Institute indicates that one-third of the U.S. work force is now composed of non-traditional "contract" workers, sometimes referred to as freelancers, free agents, contingent workers or temps.

The institute says the pool of these workers, who often are part-time, is growing at more than twice the rate of the full-time work force.

Throughout the recession and the faltering recovery, temporary help — one measure of ad hoc employment tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — was one of few employment sectors that scored month-to-month job growth.

The trend has been building. From 1990 to 2008, the bureau said in a report, employment in the temporary-help services industry grew from 1.1 million to 2.3 million and came to include a larger share of workers in higher-skill occupations.

And this will only increase.  More and more workers are being hired as temp workers...and never being converted to full-time employees.  They don't get benefits, they have to pay for their own health insurance (and that will continue to be expensive well into 2014) and hell, they don't even get paid holiday or vacations.  And it's not just entry level positions these days, but management as well.

Increasingly, top-level managers and executive teams are being shaken from established bureaucracies, replaced by temporary CEOs and troubleshooters brought in for their expertise in solving specific problems.

Yeah, but those guy tend to get profitable temporary contracts.  The vast majority of temp workers are paid significantly less than full time workers on top of all of that.   You want to know how businesses are going to keep record profits in 2011?  The workers they do hire will be temps.  That will put downward pressure on wages and benefits, and upward pressure on Americans just trying to make ends meet...oh, and you'll be the first to be let go should things go south again, which in 2011 and 2012 they almost certainly will.

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