temporary worker, an employee, hired through a specialized employment agency, who generally works less than a year on one assignment, regardless of the number of hours worked per week. Temporary workers (also called
) are utilized to accommodate fluctuations in labor requirements. While these workers may have full-time positions with companies, they are paid by private employment agencies. Such agencies recruit, train, and place temporary staff, and the companies using the temporary workers pay fees to the agencies. Because these workers receive job-specific training, many of these jobs can eventually lead to permanent staff positions.
Temporary services grew from 0.6% of the U.S. workforce in 1982 to 2.7% in 1998, by which time it had become a $60 billion industry; in 1999, about 2.9 million people were working in temporary jobs. Substantial growth in the use of temporary workers began in the late 1980s when changes in federal tax laws forced many employers to reclassify independent contractors as full-time employees, with the result that those firms owed large amounts of payroll taxes from previous years. As a consequence, companies instead began to use temporary workers placed by (and paid by) agencies. In addition, some corporations have laid off large numbers of employees (downsized) and then hired replacement workers through agencies; because temporary workers do not get benefits from the corporation, there is a cost savings to the firm. (Some agencies, however, provide benefits such as health insurance and vacation to the workers they place.) Controversy about benefits developed in the 1990s, when large companies such as Microsoft used temporary workers for long-term, multiyear projects but did not offer them benefits such as stock options. Several class-action lawsuits and federal decisions required Microsoft to offer back benefits to many of these workers.
See R. S. Belous, The Contingent Economy: The Growth of the Temporary, Part-time, and Subcontracted Workforce (1989); K. D. Henson, Just a Temp (1996).
"temporary worker." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 21, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/temporary-worker
"temporary worker." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 21, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/temporary-worker
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.