Get the Facts. Is the Temporary Workforce Here To Stay?

The job market has definitely changed from what prevailed throughout the 20th century. The trends we are now seeing is that there is a lack of job security and loyalty among companies and employees. Employees who have full time positions no longer expect to indefinitely keep those positions.  Here are some facts and stats to consider:

  1. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker today stays at their job 4.4 years, but the tenure for the millennials (the generation born between 1982 and the early 2000’s) is about half that number.
  2. The most recent report from the American Staffing Association states that companies across the U.S. employed an average of 2.95 million temporary and contract workers during the third quarter of 2012.
  3. A recent survey by Careerbuilders in March reported that 40% of employers planned to hire temporary workers in 2013.
  4. MBO Partners recently reported that roughly a third to 40% of American workers are in part-time or contract jobs. They are also projecting that there will be 23 million part time or contract workers by 2017, up from roughly 17 million today. This is a significant increase.
  5. Another interesting fact came from Katherine Stone, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, stating that the emergence of contingent (temporary) workers isn’t confined just to the United States. In a 2012 study that looked at ten countries, including Italy, Australia, Germany and Japan, Stone found evidence that the kind of standard, full time employment that was once a feature of the labor market is increasingly a thing of the past. Since 1985, according to data from the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development, most European countries have seen a decline in permanent employment.

We are seeing more and more companies expanding their workforces through the use of temporary workers (and executives) rather than full time employees. They are continuing to take a cautious approach to hiring; thus utilizing temporary workers to spearhead growth-oriented projects. Companies appear to like being able to adjust their staffing levels when and as needed to meet competitive changes in their industries.

So do I believe that the temporary workforce is here to stay?  Absolutely. As reported by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the 2007-2009 recession was the longest and most severe post World War II recession in our history. The total private employment losses were 7.6% 26 months after the start of that recession. Prior to that, the largest dip in employment was 6% 11 months after the start of the 1948 recession. Because of the severity of this last recession, companies are looking differently at their workforces. They are seeing that for a portion of their workforce, they are better off utilizing temporary or contract workers and executives to help them accomplish their goals and initiatives for the year. This helps them control costs by bringing in talent when and where you need them as well as bringing in workers with the specific expertise they need rather than risk using one of their permanent employees who does not have the skills needed.

If you are not already taking advantage of this temporary workforce, I suggest you start investigating how this new concept could bring you the competitive edge and cost savings you need in today’s rapidly changing world.





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