The rising temp economy

The growing temp industry isn’t promising for students looking for fulfilling careers.

Editorial board


When economic reports show an increase in job creation, be it at the local, state or national level, politicians of all kinds use the numbers as proof that the economy is gaining strength and is on track to more prosperity and economic security. While in some ways this may be true, rarely discussed are the kind of jobs being created, how much they pay and whether these are the kind of jobs that will lead to a strong middle class. While these questions are rarely asked, the answers to them are important. We not only need an increase in the number of jobs available but an increase in jobs that pay and demand a highly skilled workforce.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that as America continues to recover slowly from the debilitating recession, the jobs being created are not ones that pay particularly well and provide enough benefits to sustain a strong middle class. According to the American Staffing Association, the temporary labor industry has added more jobs than any other since the start of the recovery.  

While there are certain benefits to temp jobs, particularly for recent college graduates that are looking to gain experience, the rise in the temp industry shows that employers are less willing to invest in their workers for the long term. Rather than looking for loyalty and knowledge, employers are more interested in the ability to pay workers as little as possible and provide limited benefits as a way to increase the bottom line. It demonstrates a change in economic philosophy that isn’t beneficial to workers looking to make their way up the company ladder but seems to make sense to employers. This trend isn’t promising for college students and graduates who are looking for long and fulfilling careers. America’s CEOs and business owners should consider the benefits of investing in long-term workers rather than seeking cheap and unskilled labor.