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Surge in Temp Workers Reflects Fundamental Change in American Workplace

Washington Post (02/18/12) Ylan Q. Mui

U.S. government data indicate that more than 25% of those who obtained employment since the end of the recession are holding temporary positions, which experts say indicates that businesses and employees no longer expect the relationship to last for life. Carl Camden, chief executive of the staffing firm Kelly Services, says the number of workers who consider themselves “free agents,” who move from project to project and could work for several companies simultaneously, climbed from 19% in 2006 to 44% in 2011.

The American Staffing Association says temporary workers are staying in their posts longer, 13.8 weeks on average. Typically, about half of those workers end up in permanent jobs.