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The Growth of Temporary Services Work

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  • Lewis M. Segal
  • Daniel G. Sullivan

Abstract

Temporary services employment grew rapidly over the past several decades and now accounts for a sizable fraction of aggregate employment. The authors use Current Population Survey data to examine the changing nature of temporary work and discuss explanations for its growth. Temps are no longer overwhelmingly female or limited to clerical occupations. They have less labor market security than permanent workers, being prone to more unemployment and more underemployment. Few, however, are in temp positions a year later and the majority transition to permanent employment. Temp wages are approximately 20 percent below permanent workers, but individual and job characteristics explain approximately two-thirds of the gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "The Growth of Temporary Services Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:11:y:1997:i:2:p:117-36
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.2.117
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.11.2.117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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