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Pathways to work for low-income workers: The effect of work in the temporary help industry

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  • Julia Lane

    (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC)

  • Kelly S. Mikelson

    (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC)

  • Pat Sharkey

    (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC)

  • Doug Wissoker

    (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC)

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence to inform the policy debate about the effect of a newly important industry-the temporary help industry-on the labor market outcomes of low-income workers and those workers who are at risk of being on public assistance. The core issue of whether temporary help work harms the long-term prospects of disadvantaged individuals depends critically on the alternatives available to the worker. Temporary employment results in labor market outcomes that are better than not working at all. For example, while nonemployed public assistance recipients have only a 35 percent chance of being employed a year later, those who were in temporary employment have almost twice the likelihood of being employed in the same period. These findings, if correct, would support the use of temporary agencies by welfare programs. © 2003 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Lane & Kelly S. Mikelson & Pat Sharkey & Doug Wissoker, 2003. "Pathways to work for low-income workers: The effect of work in the temporary help industry," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 581-598.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:22:y:2003:i:4:p:581-598
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.10156
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David H. Autor, 2000. "Outsourcing at Will: Unjust Dismissal Doctrine and the Growth of Temporary Help Employment," NBER Working Papers 7557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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