March 03, 1999
Employment of temporary workers is expected to grow by nearly 1.4 million from 1996 to 2006, and the distribution of occupations in the personnel supply services industry also is projected to shift. While the share of white-collar administrative support occupations will drop 4.4 percentage points over the period, the blue-collar operators, fabricators, and laborers’ share is expected to increase 4.0 percentage points.
In 1996, about 655,000 temporary help employees worked in operators, fabricators, and laborers occupations. That employment total is expected to increase 77 percent by 2006, to nearly 1.2 million. The two specific occupations within the group with the largest expected temporary help employment increases are machine setters, setup operators, operators, and tenders (121 percent) and hand packers and packagers (100 percent).
In contrast, the expected growth rate for temporary administrative support jobs—at 382,000 or 36 percent—will be considerably slower. Employment of general office clerks (8.0 percent) and typists (8.8 percent) is projected to grow the least of any administrative support occupations.
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. More detailed industry-occupation projections are available in the BLS bulletin, "Career Guide to Industries."