Is The U.S. Turning Into A Nation Of Temps?

frowning female office worker with chin resting on hand
frowning female office worker with chin resting on hand

Have you been wondering why it's so hard to get a full-time position with benefits? Everyone knows it's a bad economy out there, but if you've been struggling, new data may help you understand why. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of temp workers surged by 7.5 percent in the past year, to 2,679,800 in May. That's the highest it's been since it reached 2,767,300 in October 2006. So while the economy has been slowly improving, with more employers hiring, the reality is that many of the new jobs offer only temporary employment without benefits.

Two sobering facts: The hiring rate of temp workers is five times that of hiring overall in the past year, points out Mediabistro, a media industry website. And the number of temp workers has been rising steadily since 2009 (as shown by this chart at the employee recruitment news website ERE.)