The U.S. has enjoyed remarkable job growth since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. Unemployment has plummeted with a rebounded economy and a record number of private sector jobs have been created since 2010. But what has emerged from the aftermath of one of the worst recessions our nation has ever seen is a new type of job market. The current work landscape includes a large portion of workers and companies opting for temporary employment, rather than the traditional model. And employers and employees alike are enjoying the increased flexibility that temporary staffing companies provide.

The Gig Economy is Booming

The days of employees being tied to one job or one source of income appear to be over – just as the days of employers having to commit long term to workers seem to be a thing of the past. The emergence of the freelance/gig economy in recent years has changed everything. Large corporations are on track to significantly increase their use of flexible employees, including temps, part-time workers, freelancers, contractors and other specialists. And the statistics prove this fact. During the course of a year, America’s staffing companies hire nearly 15 million temporary and contract employees.[1] And an Intuit 2020 Report shows temporary workers will exceed 40 percent of the workforce by the end of this decade.[2]

So, why is there a trend toward temporary staffing?

Why Temporary Staffing is on the Rise

In the past, temp workers were mainly used for light-industrial and clerical duties. (Picture those white-gloved, high-speed typists who filled in when the boss’ secretary took a vacation.) Now, temps are in virtually every industry, no matter how specialized, and many of them are working high-wage, high-skill jobs. From chief financial officers, doctors and engineers to marketing managers, sales reps and architects, you can find a temporary employee in nearly every job field.

A picture showing an array of different professions in temporary staffing.

Companies benefit from using temporary labor. They can quickly staff up or down with the changing markets, avoid the hassle and costs of hiring and firing, and start new projects without raising employee headcount. Other pros to using temp workers, include:

  • Staffing flexibility based on business need, budget and customer demand
  • Potential cost savings gained by outsourcing the labor of recruiting, screening, interviewing, and avoiding expense of benefits and workers’ compensation
  • Ability to cast a wider net for job candidates for hard-to-fill, specialized positions
  • Ability to hire for specific skill sets
  • Ability to avoid long-term staffing liabilities
  • Reduced costs of facilities and equipment
  • Having a “trial period” to see if the temp worker could become a permanent fit

Employers aren’t the only ones who benefit from temporary staffing. Employees who had been previously marginalized, such as stay-at-home parents, people with disabilities, students, older workers, students and retirees now have greater job opportunities. What’s more, many workers who join a company on a temporary basis end up with a permanent job. About 72 percent of temps are offered permanent positions with the companies they temp for, according to the American Staffing Association (ASA).[3]

Who’s Hiring?

A study by CareerBuilder found that two in five U.S. employers plan to hire temporary staff in 2017.[4] It doesn’t seem to be that the troubled economy sheds more jobs than it creates, but rather, the ongoing global market restructuring makes temporary employment more attractive to organizations. For many businesses, bringing full-time employees onboard is seen as riskier and less rewarding than hiring temps.

The trend toward temporary staffing bodes well for workers as well, giving them an opportunity to explore different career paths and build relationships with a diverse range of companies. The ASA finds that the sectors hiring the most temp workers include:[5]

Picture of two gears


  • 37 percent of all temporary and contract employees.
  • Occupations include transportation, construction positions, food handlers, assemblers and maintenance workers.
  • Average assignment is 14 weeks.
Picture of a folder.

Office and Clerical

  • 28 percent of all temporary and contract employees.
  • Occupations include receptionists, data-entry operators, cashiers and call-center reps.
  • Average assignment is 15 weeks.
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  • 13 percent of all temporary and contract employees.
  • Occupations include accountants, attorneys, advertising and marketing professionals.
  • Average assignment is 19 weeks.
Picture of a laptop

Engineering, IT and Scientific

  • 13 percent of all temporary and contract employees.
  • Occupations include computer programmers, mathematicians, lab techs, architects and engineers.
  • Average assignment is 19 weeks.
Picture of a green first aid kit.


  • 9 percent of all temporary and contract employees.
  • Occupations include physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and dentists.
  • Average assignment is 15 weeks.

Is your company one of the many that are seeing tangible benefits of hiring temporary employees? If not, there’s never been a better time to start. Temps can make a long-term positive impact to your bottom line. But before you jump headfirst into the temporary staffing pool, you need a partner to guide you.

At TPG Staffing, we know what it takes to hire, develop and retain high-quality employees and teams because we’ve been doing it for our clients for over a decade. If you’re looking to stay ahead of the competition and continue to grow in today’s global economy, temporary staffing can take you to the next level. Call TPG today at 732-246-7100 to learn more.