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November, 1986, Vol. 109, No. 11
Temporary help workers:
who they are, what jobs they hold
Much attention, of late, has been given to the rapid employment growth in the temporary help supply service industry. This industry consists of businesses supplying temporary help to other establishments on a contractual basis.
For the most part, the focus has been on the conditions under which employers prefer to use temporary labor supplied by a temporary help supply agency.1 For example, an employer with a fluctuating workload, particularly when unpredictable peakloads allow little time to recruit and hire directly, is likely to utilize this service. Also, if a need for additional workers is expected to be short term, a firm might find the costs involved in hiring, particularly those related to recruiting and training, to be excessive. The purchase of temporary help services allows the employer to incur labor costs for only the period the services are required, and to avoid any severance costs. In contrast to the employer-demand focus of earlier analyses, this article provides information about the composition of the temporary help supply service work force and the circumstances under which individuals are attracted to temporary employment.
This excerpt is from an article published in the November 1986 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 For a discussion of these issues, see Max L. Cary and Kim L. Hazelbaker, "Employment growth in the temporary help industry," Monthly Labor Review, April 1986, pp. 29-36; and "Temporary Help Services Who Uses Them and Why," The Office, May 1984, pp. 135-40.
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