More than 2.6 million people were employed in the personnel supply industry in 1996, and the expected growth rate from 1996 to 2006 makes this industry one of the fastest growing in the economy. Employment of temporary workers is expected to increase 53 percent— nearly 1.4 million jobs— 2006, following substantial growth from 1981 to 1996.
The most common category of temporary workers is administrative and clerical support occupations. However, professionals, including engineering, managerial, and computer workers, now make up over 11 percent of the personnel supply services industry and growth in demand for these skilled occupations is expected to outpace the growth in demand for temporary clerical positions.
Managerial, professional, and technical personnel may seek temporary work for a variety of reasons, including a desire to supplement their income, reduce the hours they work each week, or find new jobs. Some wish to maintain their incomes or skills between permanent jobs. Others are new to a field or geographic area and take temporary jobs to become better acquainted with that field or area.
These data on projected employment growth by industry are a product of the BLS Employment Projections program. More information can be obtained in "The Changing Temporary Workforce" (PDF 719K), Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Spring 1999.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Temporary workers in professional occupations expected to increase at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/feb/wk4/art03.htm (visited September 23, 2023).