Region Focus

First Quarter 2011

Flexible Workforce: The role of temporary employment in recession and recovery

Many economists see temp employment as a buffer during recessions and a harbinger of direct hiring during recoveries. How strong is the current preference for temp workers -- and does that preference have long-term implications?

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Related Links

Autor, David, and Susan Houseman. “Do Temporary-Help Jobs Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Low-Skilled Workers? Evidence from 'Work First.'” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, July 2010, vol. 2, issue 3, pp. 96-128.

Groshen, Erica, and Simon Potter. “Has Structural Change Contributed to a Jobless Recovery?” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Current Issues in Economics and Finance, August 2003, vol. 9, no. 8.

Katz, Lawrence, and Alan Krueger. “The High-Pressure U.S. Labor Market of the 1990s.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1999, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 1-88.

Peck, Jamie, and Nik Theodore. “Temporary Downturn? Temporary Staffing in the Recession and Jobless Recovery.” Focus, newsletter of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Spring 2005, vol. 23, no. 3.

Otoo, Maria Ward. “Temporary Employment and the Natural Rate of Unemployment.” Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Working Paper, no. 99-66, July 1999.

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