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Temporary Jobs Becoming a Permanent Fixture in U.S. as More Employers Seek ‘Just-in-Time’ Labor

Associated Press (07/07/13) Chris Rugaber

A variety of companies increasingly are turning to temporary labor, freelancers, contract workers, and consultants. This group of employees numbers nearly 17 million, or about 12% of U.S. workers with a job. The number of temporary help employees has risen more than 50% over the last four years to almost 2.7 million. No other sector has seen a comparable surge in hiring.

Lingering economic anxiety and companies’ desire to have more flexibility matching their payrolls to revenue are driving the trend. Executives say the use of temporary employees helps their companies stay competitive.

Temporary employment can provide valuable work experience. “It opens more doors for people to enter the labor market,” says Jeff Joerres, chief executive officer of ManpowerGroup.