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Surge in Temp Jobs Expected to Continue – Some Local Observations

Posted by Scott Fiore on March 28, 2014

I saw a story this morning about the increasing use of temporary or contract workers since the bottom of the recession and that this trend is expected to continue.  Good news certainly, for my business!!  Woo Hoo!!   However, there were a couple of observations in the story and comments that I thought may make interesting reading.

First off – why the surge?  Here in Central Pa what we’re seeing first is that businesses are continuing to try and operate as efficiently as possible.  Staff to the core, and supplement with temporary employees when needed.  Secondly, the labor market continues to improve.  The fact of the matter is that there are fewer and fewer experienced, qualified employees to choose from.  When this happens to the labor market businesses call people like me more.

What we’re not seeing here in Central Pa are businesses asking us to take on their employees to get around the Affordable Care Act.  I have yet to have a serious conversation with a client looking at this as a strategy.  May that change as we get closer to the implementation of fines?  Maybe.  But at the moment it’s not an issue.

We also don’t see the temporary employees we place as lacking in long-term opportunity.  Well over half of the temporary placements we make end up in our client company hiring our temporary employee onto their team.  Over half.  We recently had a great story.  A December college graduate, business degree from a State school, contacted me asking for help.  She was having trouble getting interviews and getting frustrated.  I introduced her to my staff; she went through our testing and screening process and was on an interview with one of our clients within days.  Three weeks from her graduation date she was on a temp-to-hire assignment with a well-known company in town.  Last we heard she’s doing great and expects to transfer to the client’s payroll soon.

So, temps make crappy money you say?  Our average wage this quarter to date equates to an annual salary of $27,580.  Well above minimum wage.  Actually – over 31% higher than the minimum wage proposed by the Obama Administration.

Why did I write this blog?  Temporary and contract jobs are good for the economy.  Done right – they provide opportunity for people entering the workforce and flexibility for companies looking to improve efficiencies.  If you’re looking for temporary employees, or having trouble locating a professional employee let me know.