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The Rise of the Permanent Temporary Employee Economy

New York Times (01/27/13) Erin Hatton

During the last three years, the temporary staffing industry has added more jobs to the U.S. economy than any other industry, according to the American Staffing Association. This opinion piece by Erin Hatton, an assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New York, argues that low-wage, temporary jobs have become so prevalent that they could become the norm. Hatton says instead of investing in American employees, companies have lowered wages and slashed benefits, converting permanent employees into part-time and contingent workers. Hatton concludes by noting that “If we want good jobs rather than just any jobs, we need to figure out how to preserve what is useful and innovative about temporary employment while jettisoning the antiworker ideology that has come to accompany it.”