According to the US Dept of Labor’s monthly statistics, the number of temporary workers increased by 25,000 workers in June…just under a third of the 80,000 new jobs that were added in the same month.
While increases in the hiring of temp workers traditionally precedes decisions to add permanent staff, in the last three years the growth in temporary jobs is clearly lasting longer, slowing down employer’s needs to hire directly. This is true in Washington state as it is around the country.
Most observers are concluding that employers still consider the economy rocky; employers are nervous. Businesses use temporaries, contractors and other versions of the flexible workforce to 1) retain their capacity react quickly to fluctuating demands for their products and services (i.e. deal with the stuttering economy) and 2) to get quick access to employees with specialized, hard to find skill sets (think ahead).
The number of temporary workers placed by staffing firms is up 20% since June 2010. While many temporary employees are still being hired directly by their (former) customers, not as rapidly as they were being snatched up in 2011.