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Growth Of The Temp World In A Down Economy

By LON MATEJCZYK

The nation’s unemployment rate is improving. That’s the good news. But with confidence in the economy still shaky, nine out of 10 companies are using temporary and contract staffing services.

That’s good news for companies like Apprentice Personnel. But even as the economy continues to get better, that statistic isn’t expected to change. In part, that’s because a temporary staffing firm provides employers the flexibility they need so that they can grow or shrink their workforce with ease.

At the moment, more than 2.5 million people each day are employed by staffing companies. Nearly 80 percent of temporary and contract employees work full time, which is virtually the same as the rest of the work force.

How big is the temp workforce getting? Demand for contract workers added more than 300,000 temporary workers – or more than a quarter of private-sector jobs – in 2010.

Not surprisingly, the American Staffing Association says many employers choose to work with staffing firms because of the insecure outlook on the economy.

“Most businesses (remain) somewhat volatile right now, and it’s hard to commit to full-time employees,” said David DeCapua, president of the Independent Staffing Alliance. “Using temporary workers can help owners manage their costs, which is especially attractive when you consider health care reform and all the uncertainty in Washington.”

But there are others factors in play that have little to do with the ups and downs of the economy.

Rising demand for flexible work arrangements and schedules is expected to create opportunities for people seeking temporary or contract jobs through the remainder of the decade, according to government estimates.

Companies also are expected to increasingly hire temporary employees with specialized skills to help them reduce costs and to provide them with the knowledge or experience they need in certain types of work.

About the Author


Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.

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