Employers are Using Temps to Fill Shortages

Gina Deveney
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Recent studies have shown that the temp job industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. Many companies that would have once hired semi-skilled workers directly are now choosing to use employment agencies to find new hires. For candidates looking for work, temporary employment has several distinct advantages, but there are drawbacks to temping as well. In the modern job market, understanding the ins and outs of temp jobs is increasingly important.

A recent report calculated that the number of temporary or contract workers grew by more than 1 million jobs between 2009 and 2014. The majority of these new jobs were in the manufacturing sector, though fields related to customer service, administrative work, construction, accounting and even nursing all measured large growth. This suggests that many industries are turning to employment agencies to fill vacant positions rather than hiring directly.

Temp jobs offer several benefits to companies looking to hire. Temporary workers are generally paid less than regular employees. Their contracts usually stipulate that employment can be terminated at any time, and they will be returned to the temp agency. This allows companies to fill out their ranks during busy periods, and then get rid of extra employees when the work slows down. In general, temp jobs do not offer medical insurance or other benefits, which cuts down on the amount the company spends on each employee.

It's easy to see why many businesses are now opting to fill positions with temp jobs. However, for employees, temporary employment is more of a mixed bag. Some young workers with relatively few expenses enjoy the freedom and excitement of temping, which often allows them to switch workplaces frequently and see how different employers operate. It also often requires less effort to get temp jobs than full-time employment. After an initial interview with an employment agency, the agency itself is responsible for seeking out jobs, which cuts down on the amount of legwork the employee has to do.

However, these do not negate the many drawbacks of temp jobs for the employee. Temporary work is often inconsistent, leaving workers struggling to make ends meet during long dry spells in which no jobs materialize. The lack of employee benefits is also a major blow to workers, who have to make their pay checks stretch to cover medical bills, retirement expenses and other costs that full-time employment would help mitigate.

Though they allow more freedom and flexibility, many temp jobs do so at the expense of work stability and the perks that come from full-time employment. Evolving and competitive workers will surely learn to thrive in the temporary labor market; however, there are many others who may never learn to love the changing job market. Regardless, it seems that the growth of temp jobs is here to stay, at least for the time being.


Photo courtesy of koko-tewan at Freedigitalphotos.net



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