Temp Employment Expected to Grow Faster Than Overall Job Market

Number of temporary job opportunities to increase 8.5% by 2025, study says
Young temps in a production line

For those looking for temporary work, the near future seems bright. In fact, a new study projects that temp employment will expand at a faster rate than the overall job market during the next six years.

Workforce staffing company TrueBlue and labor market analytics firm Emsi teamed to examine the temporary job market by focusing on both temp workers at companies and self-employed individuals. Using federal and state government data, the researchers looked at which types of employees made up the temp workforce and what regions of the country would likely experience the most growth in temp jobs.

The study projects that the number of available temp jobs in the U.S. will increase by 254,000 to reach a total of 3.2 million jobs by 2025. That would mark an increase of 8.5%. In comparison, the overall job market is expected to grow by 6% during the same period, the analysis showed.

The growth in temporary employment is not a new trend. The research showed that nearly 480,000 temp jobs have been added to the workforce since 2012, just a few years after the country came out of the Great Recession.

Among current temp workers, more than half — 57% — are 35 or older. However, the breakdown among different age groups shows that temp jobs may appeal to all ages. Of the total temporary workforce ...

  • 16% are adults 24 or younger
  • 27% are aged 25-34
  • 21% are aged 35-44
  • 18% are aged 45-54
  • 18% are 55 or older

An earlier TrueBlue survey of more than 4,000 gig workers found that the No. 1 reason respondents said they seek temp work is to earn extra money, with the second most common reason being a way to get their foot in the door of a particular company.

While the temp market appears to be robust across the board, certain regions are expected to have more opportunities than others in coming years. The top five metropolitan statistical areas that are expected to have the largest increase in the number of temporary jobs between 2019 and 2025 are:

  • Los Angeles (adding 13,466 jobs)
  • Dallas (adding 13,435 jobs)
  • Chicago (adding 12,944 jobs)
  • Grand Rapids, Mich. (adding 8,997 jobs)
  • New York (adding 8,718 jobs)

People turn to temporary employment for many reasons. If you’re looking to make extra money to get out of debt or save for a major purchase, a temporary job or side gig can provide a steady second stream of income. Also, those who seek temp jobs to enjoy a freelance lifestyle may find that the money and flexibility offered is more fulfilling than taking a permanent job.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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