The Role of Temporary Help Employment in Low-Wage Worker Advancement

63 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2007

See all articles by Carolyn Heinrich

Carolyn Heinrich

Vanderbilt University; University of Texas at Austin

Peter R. Mueser

University of Missouri; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Kenneth R. Troske

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics; University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

We examine the effects of temporary help service employment on later earnings and employment for individuals participating in three federal programs providing supportive services to those facing employment difficulties. The programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, whose participants are seriously disadvantaged; a job training program with a highly heterogeneous population of participants; and employment exchange services, whose participants consist of Unemployment Insurance claimants and individuals seeking assistant in obtaining employment. We undertake our analyses for two periods: the late 1990s, a time of very strong economic growth, and shortly after 2000, a time of relative stagnation. Our results suggest that temporary help service firms may facilitate quicker access to jobs for those seeking employment assistance and impart substantial benefits as transitional employment, especially for individuals whose alternatives are severely limited. Those who do not move out of temporary help jobs, however, face substantially poorer prospects, and we observe that nonwhites are more likely than whites to remain in THS positions in the two years following program participation. Our results are robust to program and time period.

Suggested Citation

Heinrich, Carolyn and Mueser, Peter R. and Troske, Kenneth R., The Role of Temporary Help Employment in Low-Wage Worker Advancement (October 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13520, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024124

Carolyn Heinrich (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University ( email )

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Peter R. Mueser

University of Missouri ( email )

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United States
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HOME PAGE: http://web.missouri.edu/~mueser/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Kenneth R. Troske

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-4229 (Phone)
573-882-2697 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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