Are temporary jobs coming, going, or taking over?
The recent increase in temporary jobs can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you are. Even if you’re a temporarily employed worker, it can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s great that you have a job that’s providing a paycheck, but it doesn’t help when you need health benefits, retirement savings, or the security of a permanent job.
Temporary jobs (while providing a paycheck for 12% of American workers), don’t really contribute to the growth of the economy. Because those employees still need to save money for health services and don’t have the security of knowing their job is here to stay, temporary workers seldom spend money freely.
Employers Taking Full Advantage
Employers on the other hand, are taking full advantage of the rise in temporary workers. Not only do they help to sidestep the new health care law requiring that permanent employees are covered (by the way, Obama has delayed the implementation of this for at least a year in an effort to focus on hiring), but they also alleviate the need to pay retirement benefits.
But if employers continue on this route, the economy is sure to get worse, not better. The trend of using temporary workers will continue and more and more companies will start to see the benefit of doing so – including all of the small start-ups that are popping up.
A False Sense of Security
As the number of freelancers, consultants, temporary and contract workers rise, (due to high unemployment), there will be companies to employ them. And as more companies seek out these kinds of workers, the more people will flock to this kind of job situation (and therefore stall permanent job creation even further).
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The ability for people to work part time, from home, or when-they-want, etc. is a great alternative for people with small children at home (or those who can’t afford daycare, for instance), elderly parents to take care of, college students, people who can’t find permanent work, workers who want to retire but can’t afford to do so, or people who just want to earn a little bit of extra cash. The possibilities are endless.
The Pros of Temporary Work
Interestingly, this trend negates the “there aren’t enough workers to fill open positions” argument that many are spouting. Temporary workers prove that there are people to fill them – people are willing to entertain positions and off-hours shift work that they maybe wouldn’t have a few years ago.
Also contrary to popular belief, people don’t want a handout; they want a job with a fair wage. They want to pay their mortgages and their electric bills; they want to go out to eat and save a bit for retirement.
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