Temp Workers at Record High; Earn $3.44 an Hour less than Other Workers

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The use of temporary workers in American industries has only continued to grow, which is bad news for those filling such jobs due to their lower-than-average salaries.

A new report from the National Employment Law Project and the National Staffing Workers Alliance says the number of temps in the U.S. has reached 2.8 million, the highest ever recorded.


Temps earn less than counterparts with permanent jobs, according to the study. Temps make an average of $12.40 an hour, compared with $15.84 earned by all private-sector workers, regardless of industry, according to study authors Rebecca Smith and Claire McKenna.


Smith and McKenna found that industrial and warehouse businesses have really embraced using temps. This work comprised 42% of all non-permanent jobs last year. Office and administrative positions made up only 21% of temp opportunities.


 “Major corporations now use staffing as a permanent feature of their business model,” Smith and McKenna said. “Seventy-seven percent of Fortune 500 firms now use third-party logistics firms, who may then contract out to an army of smaller firms to move their goods.”


Not only are temp jobs less remunerative, they are also more dangerous. An American Journal of Industrial Medicine study showed that temp jobs had higher rates of injury than regular jobs, and when workers miss work due to injury, they’re out longer,.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Temped Out (by Rebecca Smith and Claire McKenna, National Employment Law Project, National Staffing Workers Alliance) (pdf)

The Changing Face of Temporary Employment (by Steven Greenhouse, New York Times)

Protections for Temporary Workers Sorely Lacking in U.S. (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Blue Collar Temp Workers more Likely to be Injured (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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