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This Is the Dawning of the Age of the Permatemp


Most unemployed people would prefer a temp job to remaining out of work. It’s a paycheck, after all, and in some cases, temp jobs can even lead to full-time, benefited work. But for a new breed of permatemps, that temporary work might turn out to more permanent than they’d bargained for — and not in way they’d hoped.

NBC News has a fairly horrifying story about the rise of permanent temps, people who have taken temporary work to see them through tough times, and then wound up stuck in a cycle of insecure employment.

They interview Kenneth Foreman, a 49-year-old worker who was laid off from his tech job in 2006 and has relied on temp jobs ever since.

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“They are not even required to give me notice,” he said. “I could come in one day and my badge won’t work and they’ll say that you were relieved.”

Forty percent more people worked at temporary jobs in June 2012 than they did two years ago. Lest you think any added jobs is good news, the article points out that a rise in temporary jobs doesn’t necessarily mean anything positive about the prospects for permanent employment.

Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight, tells NBC that companies are “not willing to commit to full-time, permanent employees.”

He also says that temp workers might find it harder to get permanent jobs, once they’re available, due to the fact that they’ll be competing with folks who have been able to wait out the tough economy before making a switch.

More From PayScale:

Is Self-Employment Less Risky Than Getting a Job?

What Are the Country’s Most Thankless Jobs? [infographic]

The Dangers of Eating at Your Desk


(Photo Credit: herval/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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