As many as 15 percent of seasonal workers will become full-time staffers by the end of the summer, estimates Amy Glaser, senior vice president of Adecco Staffing.
Glaser tells USA Today that this in contrast to the one or two percent of summer help who typically stay on. Staffing professionals tell the paper that they’re seeing this trend across industries and age groups. Tom Gimbel, CEO of LaSalle Network, says that up to half of college interns have sewed up jobs for after graduation … despite the fact that they won’t be available to work until next spring.
Why the hiring frenzy? Low unemployment. It’s a seller’s market out there for workers with labor to offer, and employers are scrambling to find qualified help. Turning temporary workers into permanent ones just makes sense: the company already knows what these workers can do and has trained them on the systems they need to do their jobs.
Does This Mean Workers Will Get a Raise?
Unemployment dipped below 4 percent this spring and the quits rate is higher than it’s been in 17 years. All indications are that the economy is approaching full employment. However, the tight labor market doesn’t seem to be boosting wages.
The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed U.S. workers, showed that wages declined 0.9 percent between Q1 and Q2 2018. And real wages — the buying power of workers’ pay with inflation taken into account — are 9.3 percent lower than they were in 2006. What’s going on?
One issue is that tax cuts don’t seem to have raised pay.
“The Q2 Index shows the benefits of recent changes to the tax policy are largely reaped by business owners, not employees. Many corporations are using the additional money to buy back stock rather than increase wages,” says Katie Bardaro, Vice President of Data Analytics and Chief Economist at PayScale.
There are other factors at play in wage stagnation since the recovery, but which ones are most to blame is up for debate. The decline of union membership, fewer employers for workers to choose from, the encroachment of automation — all could be having an impact on wages.
It remains to be seen whether an increasingly tight labor market will overcome other factors and raise pay at last.
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