Jun 01, 2014

DCR National Temp Wage Index – June 2014

DCR National Temp Wage Index – June 2014

In April 2014, temporary workers’ wages increased by 30 cents, which is the second highest month-over-month increment in the past year. The highest increase so far this year was seen in January. The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) reports that the average weekly pay of temp jobs is $554.

Temp employment increased by 24,000 jobs in April 2014, with a temp penetration rate at a high of 2.065 percent. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent in the previous month.  ADP’s national employment report shows that private sector employment rose by 220,000 jobs in April from March. Of these jobs, small firms were the largest contributors with 82,000 jobs. U.S. Labor Department data indicates that more than one-tenth of jobs created since 2009 have been temporary. CareerBuilder says that more than half of jobs created since the recession in cities such as Cincinnati and Milwaukee are temporary or contract work. Almost 40 percent of all temp jobs are in manufacturing.

The American Staffing Association estimates that at some point in the last year, about 11 million people held a temp position.

Temporary Employment Growth vs. Total Nonfarm Employment Growth

temporary employement

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Small- and Mid-sized Businesses Plans to Hire Temp Workers

The SMB Job Generation Outlook Survey by Lucas Group found that 45 percent of small to mid-sized businesses (SMB) plan to hire in the next quarter of 2014. Thirty-six percent plan to hire a combination of permanent and temporary workers, while just 7 percent are considering hiring only temp workers.

Of the over 1,100 companies surveyed, 84 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that small and medium businesses are the job generators of the U.S. economy. While the majority plans to hire in the coming months, almost 60 percent reported difficulty or extreme difficulty in finding qualified professional or management talent for open positions.

Type of Workforce Additions

types of workforce

Source: SMB Job Generation Outlook, Lucas Group


A large number, 37 percent, of SMBs reported healthcare costs as their chief concern, with 24 percent of all businesses saying that the Affordable Care Act would have a large impact on their business plans. The minimum wage debate was another concern for SMB executives, with 26 percent reporting that a wage raise would have a negative impact on their operations, with effects including reducing current hiring plans, reducing current workforce, eliminating new hiring, or going out of business.  When SMB executives were asked at what range they would like to see the minimum hourly wage set at, 34 percent responded with $7.25 to $8.20, followed by 24% preferring at $9.16 to $10.10.

 Modest Increase Forecasted for Wages

According to the Bloomberg BNA Wage Trend IndicatorTM (WTI), private industry workers’ annual wages are expected to increase slightly in 2014. Kathryn Kobe, a consultant who helps develop the WTI database, expects the rate of annual wage growth to be slightly over 2.1 percent.

The WTI relies on seven components to make its predictions on the accelerations and decelerations in the rate of increase in private wages, of which five are based on economical statistical series, and two are derived from BNA’s Employment Outlook survey. In the latest reading, positive contributors were the unemployment rate, job losers as a share of the labor force, forecasters’ expectations for the inflation rate, the share of employers planning to hire production and service workers, and the reported difficulty in filling professional and technical positions.

“The labor market is making steady progress, and employers are showing more interest in hiring new workers.” ~Kathryn Kobe, Consultant with Bloomberg BNA’s WTI

 Stress Causing Employees to Quit

A new survey of approximately 7,000 U.S. workers by Monster.com, found that 42 percent of employees had purposely left a position due to stress. A separate survey of more than 900 workers found that the most common cause of workplace stress is an employee’s relationship with their boss, followed by workload, work-life balance, and relationships with co-workers.

Almost half of employees surveyed reported missing time at work due to work-related stress, and 61 percent said that workplace stress caused them actual physical illness such as insomnia and depression.  Increased family issues were also cited as a result of workplace stress. Seven percent of employees report having been hospitalized due to work-related stress.

“People feel stressed out because there’s that continuing pressure to do more with less. Workers feel pressure to get more accomplished.” ~Mary Ellen Slayter, Career Advice Expert at Monster.com

“There’s a supply and demand aspect to it. The employers see it as a quick way to easily be able to downsize without an impact to their core workforce” ~Jennifer Little, Director of Career Services at Spartanburg Community College.Temporary Employment Growth vs. Total Nonfarm Employment Growth