Shift to Temp Workers Unlikely Temporary

April 28, 2011  |  

(MarketWatch) — As companies remain wary about hiring in this tough economy, more are turning to temp workers. Using temps and other so-called “contingent workers” can help risk-averse firms save on benefit costs, and it’s easier to sever the employment relationship.  Temporary-help services employment increased to about 2.3 million in March from a recent trough of about 1.7 million in mid-2009, according to the Labor Department.   “We have large clients that have laid off hundreds, thousands of employees. They are now using a large chunk of temp workers, managing their labor needs in real time. It’s cost containment,” said Neil Alexander, co-chair of the contingent worker practice group at labor law firm Littler Mendelson.  “This is the new face of labor,” he said.  There could also be a longer-term trend at work, with increasing use of the Internet and the globalization of the labor market leading to a larger slice of the employment pie available to alternative workers, said Barry Asin, president of Staffing Industry Analysts, a research and consulting firm.

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