Thursday, November 11, 2010

Temporary employment in the United States is up. What does that mean?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released its Current Employment Statistics Highlights for October 2010.  Changes in temporary help tend to be a leading indicator of changes in employment overall.  And temp help is way up.

What are some possible reasons for an increase in temporary help?  Well, the increase could be merely part of the cyclical ebb and flow in business.  More likely, the increase points to a secular shift, due to several factors.

First, healthcare reform.  Employers hesitate to commit to the increasing legal and administrative responsibility involved with full-time employees.

Second, the economy.  Business leaders are unsure about how the economic recovery will unfold.

Finally, this past summer saw jobs coming back to the United States from overseas.  And that trend most certainly accounts for the current increase in U.S. labor demand, temporary or otherwise.

What do you think?  Why is the demand for temporary workers up? What does that increase say about overall employment in the United States?

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