Are Temps Now A Permanent Reality?

When the United States hit 2008 and the recession, businesses restructured in many ways to survive in the struggling economy. [...]

May 5 2011 by ChiefExecutive.net


When the United States hit 2008 and the recession, businesses restructured in many ways to survive in the struggling economy. One of these ways was to cut down on full-time employees and to increase the use of temporary workers. Contract workers could be picked up on a per-project basis and employers cut down on their number of salaried employees with benefits. In March, the U.S. had 2.3 million temporary workers and 8.4 million who are involuntarily working part-time.

As the country inches its way out of the recession, it is now faced with the question of what businesses will look like moving forward. Fortune explores whether or not the transition to temporary workers will be a permanent one and what sorts of implications such a move would have on the American economy. Though temporary workers are a cautious and savvy investment for employers, it may signal a move toward fewer long-term salaried workers with benefits. With a high unemployment rate, it is unlikely that many temporary positions will turn into permanent ones.

If you add in the growing popularity of outsourcing, what is the future of the average American worker? And though the growth of temporary workers is helpful for businesses in the short term by providing added flexibility and lower costs, it could also have negative consequences.

Read: The Rise of the Permanently Temporary Worker