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Manufacturing Plants' Use of Temporary Workers: An Analysis Using Census Micro Data

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  • Yukako Ono
  • Daniel Sullivan

Abstract

Using plant-level data from the Plant Capacity Utilization (PCU) Survey, we examine how manufacturing plants’ use of temporary workers is associated with the nature of their output fluctuations and other plant characteristics. We find that plants tend to hire temporary workers when their output can be expected to fall, a result consistent with the notion that firms use temporary workers to reduce costs associated with dismissing permanent employees. In addition, we find that plants whose future output levels are subject to greater uncertainty tend to use more temporary workers. We also examine the effects of wage and benefit levels for permanent workers, unionization rates, turnover rates, seasonal factors, and plant size and age on the use of temporary workers; based on our results, we discuss various views of why firms use temporary workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Yukako Ono & Daniel Sullivan, 2008. "Manufacturing Plants' Use of Temporary Workers: An Analysis Using Census Micro Data," Working Papers 08-40, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:08-40
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2008/CES-WP-08-40.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Part-Time America: Some Context, Please
      by James Sherk in The Foundry on 2013-07-11 18:23:25

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    Cited by:

    1. Hirokatsu Asano & Takahiro Ito & Daiji Kawaguchi, 2013. "Why Has the Fraction of Nonstandard Workers Increased? A Case Study of Japan," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(4), pages 360-389, September.
    2. Cosmin Ilut & Matthias Kehrig & Martin Schneider, 2014. "Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire: Employment Dynamics with Asymmetric Responses to News," Department of Economics Working Papers 150113, The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2014.
    3. Christopher L. House & Jing Zhang, 2012. "Layoffs, Lemons and Temps," NBER Working Papers 17962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:bla:pacecr:v:21:y:2016:i:5:p:527-540 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Matthew Dey & Susan N. Houseman & Anne Polivka, 2010. "What Do We Know about Contracting Out in the United States? Evidence from Household and Establishment Surveys," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Katharine G. Abraham & James R. Spletzer & Michael J. Harper (ed.), Labor in the New Economy, pages 267-304 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    6. Britton Lombardi & Yukako Ono, 2008. "Professional employer organizations: What are they, who uses them, and why should we care?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 2-14.
    7. Susan N. Houseman & Carolyn Heinrich, 2015. "Temporary Help Employment in Recession and Recovery," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-227, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    8. Elif C. Arbatli & Steven J. Davis & Arata Ito & Naoko Miake & Ikuo Saito, 2017. "Policy Uncertainty In Japan," NBER Working Papers 23411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Morikawa, Masayuki, 2016. "Business uncertainty and investment: Evidence from Japanese companies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 224-236.
    10. Beissinger, Thomas & Baudy, Philipp, 2015. "The impact of temporary agency work on trade union wage setting: A theoretical analysis," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 01-2015, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    11. ASANO Hirokatsu & ITO Takahiro & KAWAGUCHI Daiji, 2011. "Why Has the Fraction of Contingent Workers Increased? A case study of Japan," Discussion papers 11021, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Ana P. Fernandes & Priscila Ferreira, 2015. "Financing Constraints and Fixed-term Employment Contracts: Evidence from the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis," NIMA Working Papers 58, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
    13. Baudy, Philipp & Cords, Dario, 2016. "Deregulation of temporary agency employment in a unionized economy: Does this really lead to a substitution of regular employment?," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 06-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    14. Cooke, Fang Lee. & Brown, Ronald., 2015. "The regulation of non-standard forms of employment in China, Japan and the Republic of Korea," ILO Working Papers 994888163402676, International Labour Organization.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    temporary workers; output fluctuations;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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