January 30, 2013

Use (and Mis-use) of Temporary Workers

This week, NPR's Talk of the Nation featured a show on the "permatemp economy": the idea that today's employers rely more and more on part-time employees, without providing benefits or a guarantee that a job will still exist next Monday. No strings attached. It's a tough concept to think about: on the one hand, the unemployed need every bit of work they can get their hands on. Temp jobs offer a way in the door, a diverse resume, good references and a paycheck. On the other hand, temps are often strung along with promises of a more permanent, full-time job that never materializes and employers save thousands of dollars on benefits never paid out.

You can listen to the whole story here.  

Interested in the history of temporary workers?  There is an excellent piece by Erin Hatton in the New York Times about the transition from "Kelly Girls" to "permatemps".  You won't want to miss the explanation to this advertisement:

Source: The Office (January 1971)

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