Is ‘temp’ the new ‘permanent’?

Are we becoming a nation of contract workers? According to business services firm MBO Partners, there were almost 18 million “independent workers” in the US last year – up 10% from only two years earlier. Is it a continuing reaction (or maybe over-reaction) to the recession? Is there something deeper at work? Could actually be a good thing – for both workers and employers?

Check out this report on It will give you plenty to think about. Many of the themes I’ve been blogging about in this space are play on a large scale:

For Americans who can’t find jobs, the booming demand for temp workers has been a path out of unemployment, but now many fear it’s a dead-end route.

With full-time work hard to find, these workers have built temping into a de facto career, minus vacation, sick days or insurance. The assignments might be temporary — a few months here, a year there — but labor economists warn that companies’ growing hunger for a workforce they can switch on and off could do permanent damage to these workers’ career trajectories and retirement plans.

This subject isn’t going away any time soon.


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. Vice President, Zoomer Media Ltd. . Author of "The New Old" . 30 years experience in marketing communications, advertising, media . Speaker, writer, commentator on the revolution in aging and how to market to Boomers and seniors