The Evolution of the Demand for Temporary Help Supply Employment in the United States

25 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2000 Last revised: 18 Apr 2022

See all articles by Marcello M. Estevão

Marcello M. Estevão

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Western Hemisphere Department

Saul Lach

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; CEPR

Date Written: December 1999

Abstract

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported an extraordinary increase in temporary help supply (THS) employment during the late 1980s and the 1990s. However, little is known about the venues where these THS employees actually work. Our estimates indicate that the proportion of THS employees in each major American industry, except the public sector, increased during 1977-97. By 1997, close to 4 percent of the employees in manufacturing and services were THS workers. In the service sector, the increase was accompanied by a large increase in direct hires. In manufacturing, however, it was accompanied by a decline in direct hiring from its peak in 1989 even though output increased substantially in the 1990s. Practically, all of the growth in THS employment is attributed to a change in the hiring behavior of firms, rather than to a disproportional increase in the size of more THS-intensive industries.

Suggested Citation

Estevao, Marcello M. and Lach, Saul, The Evolution of the Demand for Temporary Help Supply Employment in the United States (December 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w7427, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=203164

Marcello M. Estevao (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Western Hemisphere Department ( email )

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Saul Lach

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/saul/saul.html

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