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Numbers are In: Workforce Still Trending to Temporary Employment

At the close of 2013, temporary workers accounted for 55 percent of all jobs created in December, according to Deutsche Bank’s staffing industry update released a couple weeks ago. Further, over the last year, the incremental usage of temporary workers hasn’t diminished, when it had in the last cycle. And since the trough 46 months ago, just over 11 percent of all jobs created have been temporary jobs, which is 2.4 times the percentage in the comparable period last cycle.

It’s clear that the temporary workforce is only accelerating in 2014, and these numbers keep hiring managers and business owners bullish on the group. In fact, it appears that temporary is now a permanent strategy when it comes to enduring the ebb and flow of adapting to ever-changing business needs. Contingent workers help companies stay flexible and keep their options open, pulling in talent when it’s needed and “turning it off” when it’s not.

The sustainability of this trend proves accurate when considering the temporary penetration rate, the percentage of the nonfarm workforce employed by temporary help firms, is now at just over two percent – a new record high since 2000. And it won’t stop there. It has been estimated that temp penetration has the potential to reach 2.3 percent or beyond, if the cycle lasts through 2015.

Regardless, this year will be a promising one for temporary workers, with 42 percent of employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers in 2014 – up from 40 percent in 2013. And of those employers, 43 percent plan to transition some temporary employees into full-time, permanent members of their staff.

Since we specialize in contract-to-hire (temporary-to-hire) placements, we love this idea as it allows businesses to ensure the right candidate to company fit. It also prevents costly hiring mistakes due to the fact that companies can “preview” a candidate’s skills, experience and performance on the job before extending an offer for a more permanent employment situation.

Though we are released from the tightest clutches of the recession, business owners are still hesitant to grow their workforce due to a lag in recovery, uncertainties of the Affordable Care Act, and other business dynamics and needs. Leveraging the temporary workforce to fill the gaps that don’t inevitably require a full-time employee is an option – and apparently the option for 2014.

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