Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 373–390

An alternative look at temporary workers, their choices, and the growth in temporary employment

  • Michael D. S. Morris
  • Alexander Vekker

DOI: 10.1007/s12122-001-1040-9

Cite this article as:
Morris, M.D.S. & Vekker, A. J Labor Res (2001) 22: 373. doi:10.1007/s12122-001-1040-9


We examine temporary workers (temps), their choices, and growth in temporary employment. We find that some people choose a temporary job because they desire greater schedule flexibility, particularly students and women with children. For most, however, weaker permanent job opportunities drive them into temporary positions. Using the 1995 and 1997 Current Population Surveys (CPS) we find that both the percentage of the work force in temporary jobs and the absolute number of temps declined when applying a new CPS-based measure of temporary. This is in stark contrast to the rising percentage found in several previous studies when looking only at workers in personnel supply services and clearly questions prior claims and concerns about growth in the temporary work force.

Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. S. Morris
    • 1
  • Alexander Vekker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia

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