If you pay attention to the news, you know that employment is a lagging economic indicator. It means, of course, that the recovery can be well under way before employment figures improve. But a lesser reported fact is that staffing figures for temp agencies lead other employment indicators. What does that mean? It means that before companies do much wholesale hiring, they dip their toes into the temp pool.
Why? Because from the employer’s point of view, paying a slightly higher hourly rate for an employee with a specific skill set is cheaper than the cost of hiring a full-time permanent person. The agency does all the looking and shifting of candidates, not to mention the paperwork. If the company is not sure how long a full recovery will take, temporary workers make a lot of sense.
What does this mean for you? Look to staffing agencies to help you locate jobs that haven’t yet reached conventional lists. Remember: Pick your agency well. Even though you can find work in almost any field, from day laborer to technical writer, many agencies specialize. You want one that will place you in the right industry for you.