Data Bank Focus: Shifting Norms?

The unemployment rate has stalled in its decline from the highs of the recent recession—hovering at about 8.2 percent for the first half of this year. In contrast, the number of workers employed through temporary help services continues to climb, swelling by 101,000 workers in the past six months. As the chart below shows, the number of employees at these companies is generally inversely proportional to the overall unemployment rate. The ranks of these workers rising even as employment remains flat may portend a drop in unemployment; however, it may also be the result of the growing trend toward a more contingent workforce.

Workforce Management, August 2012, p. 24 & 26
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