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The Implications of Flexible Staffing Arrangements for Job Stability

Author

Listed:
  • Susan N. Houseman

    (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)

  • Anne E. Polivka

    (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the job stability of workers in a wide range of flexible staffing arrangements: agency temporary, direct-hire temporary, on-call, contract company, independent contractor, and regular part-time work. We draw upon two data sources in our analysis. The first is a nationwide survey of employers on their use of flexible staffing arrangements conducted by the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. This survey provides evidence on why employers use various types of flexible staffing arrangements and the extent to which employers move workers in these positions into regular arrangements within their organization. The second data source is the Supplement to the February 1995 Current Population Survey on Contingent and Alternative Work Arrangements. Exploiting the longitudinal component of the CPS, we compare the subsequent labor market status of individuals in flexible work arrangements and those in regular full-time positions in February 1995. We find that, except for independent contractors, workers in flexible staffing arrangements have less job stability than those in regular full-time arrangements in the sense that they are more likely to switch employers, become unemployed, or involuntarily drop out of the labor force within a year. However, the degree of job stability varies considerably across arrangements. We also show that the recent growth in certain types of flexible staffing arrangements could have translated into small declines in aggregate job stability and can account for a substantial share of the modest increase in job switching observed over the last decade.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan N. Houseman & Anne E. Polivka, 1999. "The Implications of Flexible Staffing Arrangements for Job Stability," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 99-56, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:99-56
    Note: A revised version of this paper appears in David Neumark, ed., On the Job: Is Long-Term Employment a Thing of the Past?, (pp. 427-462). New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Susan N. Houseman, 2001. "Why Employers Use Flexible Staffing Arrangements: Evidence from an Establishment Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 149-170, October.
    2. John T. Addison & Christopher J. Surfield, 2008. "Atypical Work and Employment Continuity," Working Paper series 12_08, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2008.
    3. Sarah Hamersma & Carolyn Heinrich, 2008. "Temporary Help Service Firms' Use of Employer Tax Credits: Implications for Disadvantaged Workers' Labor Market Outcomes," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 74(4), pages 1123-1148, April.
    4. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 189-213, June.
    5. Peter Cappelli & David Neumark, 2001. "External Job Churning and Internal Job Flexibility," NBER Working Papers 8111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ann Bartel & Saul Lach & Nachum Sicherman, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 11158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. David H. Autor, 2000. "Outsourcing at Will: Unjust Dismissal Doctrine and the Growth of Temporary Help Employment," JCPR Working Papers 153, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    8. Neumark, David & Reed, Deborah, 2004. "Employment relationships in the new economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, February.
    9. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2000. "Temporary jobs: who gets them, what are they worth, and do they lead anywhere?," ISER Working Paper Series 2000-13, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    10. Carolyn J. Heinrich & Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske, 2005. "Welfare to Temporary Work: Implications for Labor Market Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 154-173, February.
    11. Susan N. Houseman, 2001. "The Benefits Implications of Recent Trends in Flexible Staffing Arrangements," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 02-87, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    12. Carolyn J. Heinrich & Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske, 2009. "The Role of Temporary Help Employment in Low-Wage Worker Advancement," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 399-436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Markus Gangl, 2002. "The Only Way is Up? Employment Protection and Job Mobility among Recent Entrants to European Labour Markets," MZES Working Papers 48, MZES.
    14. Vanessa V Tinsley, 2003. "Firms and Layoffs: The Impact of Unionization on Involuntary Job Loss," Working Papers 03-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    15. Addison, John T. & Surfield, Christopher J., 2005. "‘Atypical Work’ and Compensation," IZA Discussion Papers 1477, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. 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.
    17. Sarah Hamersma & Carolyn Heinrich, 2008. "Temporary Help Service Firms' Use of Employer Tax Credits: Implications for Disadvantaged Workers' Labor Market Outcomes," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 1123-1148, April.
    18. J. T. Addison & C. J. Surfield, 2009. "Does atypical work help the jobless? Evidence from a CAEAS/CPS cohort analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(9), pages 1077-1087.
    19. Nancy Bertaux & Hervé Queneau, 2002. "The social economics of job security," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 1-19, September.
    20. Sarah Brown & John G. Sessions, 2005. "Employee Attitudes, Earnings and Fixed-Term Contracts: International Evidence," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(2), pages 296-317, July.
    21. Chung, Heejung, 2006. "Flexibility, but for whom? : A new approach to examining labour market flexibility across Europe using company level data," MPRA Paper 2397, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2007.
    22. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Malo, Miguel & Muñoz-Bullón, Fernando, 2006. "The Role of Temporary Help Agencies in Facilitating Temp-to-Perm Transitions," IZA Discussion Papers 2177, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Sarah Brown & John G. Sessions, "undated". "Education, Earnings, and Fixed-Term Contracts," Discussion Papers in Public Sector Economics 01/5, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.
    24. Schäfer, Holger, 2000. "Atypische Beschäftigung, Entwicklungstrends und Bedeutung für den Arbeitsmarkt," IW-Trends – Vierteljahresschrift zur empirischen Wirtschaftsforschung, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) / German Economic Institute, vol. 27(4), pages 41-54.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    flexible; staffing; job; stability; Houseman; Polivka;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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