An Update on Temporary Help in Manufacturing


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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The temporary help services industry has bounced back from the recession and continues to grow. Newly available data are enabling the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) to re-examine this important industry and update a report on the temp industry that we published last year.1 Although we don't know exactly how many temporary workers actually work in the manufacturing sector, we estimate that temps fill somewhere in the range of 8 to 10 percent of all jobs in production occupations in the manufacturing sector.2 Because temps are not counted as manufacturing workers in official statistics and those who fill these jobs are typically paid less for performing the same work, these statistics somewhat underestimate the number of people working in manufacturing and overestimate the average wages of those working in manufacturing. This report will touch on these issues.

1 This report updates previously published estimates on the number of temporary workers in manufacturing using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey. Previously, data on the employment services industry was used to estimate the number of temporary help workers in manufacturing, but newly available OES data on the temporary help industry allow for more precise estimates. The original estimates can be found in "Temporary Help in Manufacturing," August 14, 2014.

2 Production occupations as classified by the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC 51-0000).

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