Most Americans Think Temp Jobs are Better than No Jobs

temp jobs Some unemployed workers are hesitant to take a temporary job because they worry it would tamper with unemployment benefits and make them unavailable for their dream job if it comes along. But a new online survey reveals that more than half of U.S. adults (54 percent) agree that finding a temporary job is the best option following a layoff.

The survey, commissioned by EmploymentGroup, a Midwest staffing and contracted services firm, and conducted by Harris Interactive, aimed to quantify the appeal of several frequently cited options available to unemployed workers. It found that pursuing a temp job (defined as a transitional job held while looking for permanent employment) is preferred by a wide margin to going back to school to learn a new skill or profession (21 percent), waiting for the right opportunity while receiving unemployment assistance (11 percent), starting a new business (5 percent), or something else (8 percent).

The survey also examined the perceived value of temporary employment. A majority of adults (70 percent) say that landing a temp job often leads to a permanent position, and 74 percent agree that it adds value to a resume -- an opinion voiced most strongly by unemployed (78 percent) and retired (85 percent) workers.

"While it has been widely reported that temp hiring is up, some have suggested that in the current economy traditional perceptions of the temp job have changed -- from a potential path to full-time employment to just another dead end," said Mark Lancaster, CEO of EmploymentGroup. "These latest survey results paint a different picture. Despite significant, persistent challenges in the job market, public opinion regarding the value and long-term career potential of temporary employment remains strong."

The survey provided some additional interesting findings regarding perceptions of temporary employment:

  • Women are more likely to agree that temp jobs often lead to a permanent position (74 percent), versus men (66 percent).
  • Temp jobs hold more appeal for older women: 63 percent of women ages 55 and older feel temporary employment is the best option following a layoff, versus 56 percent of all adult women and 51 percent of men ages 55 and older.
  • Across all household income categories, the temp job option holds the most appeal for those earning between $35,000 and $49,900.
  • Part-time workers are much more likely to agree temp employment is the best option following a layoff as compared with full-time or self-employed workers (63 percent vs. 53 percent)

Next: Ten Companies Hiring This Week

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