Staffing Agencies Near Me
WASHINGTON - Since demand for temporary workers has been on the rise since the recession, staffing agencies have played an increasingly important role in helping jobless Americans find work. Some worker advocates say job-seekers should be wary.
The number of temporary workers in the United States on any given day jumped to an average of 2.6 million in the third quarter of 2010, about 25 percent higher than the same period a year earlier, according to the American Staffing Association, the trade group representing such firms. The Department of Labor reported last week that staffing firms have added about 25, 000 jobs to the economy in each of the past 12 months.
In an uncertain economy, employers are more likely to hire temporary and contract workers because it's easier to let those workers go when they can no longer afford them. But George Wentworth, a senior staff attorney for the National Employment Law Project, a worker-advocacy nonprofit, said job applicants should be careful when using staffing firms and temp agencies.
"A huge portion of the job growth in the last year has been in the temporary help sector, because employers are using the temporary industry as a device for trying out workers, " Wentworth said. "The bottom line is that you have to be really careful with these kinds of firms. There's a growing detachment between job applicants and the ultimate employer that will be hiring you, so when there are headhunters or firms that are acting as an intermediary and taking some sort of cut, workers just need to be absolutely certain they're getting assurance from an employer and not just an entity that isn't going to have a long-term investment in the workers future."
Wentworth said staffing firms that promise full-time work after a certain period can often stretch those terms without recourse, as their unemployed clients are too desperate for work to speak up.
"There are abuses in many of these industries where employers try to keep somebody on a, quote, 'temporary' for periods of time far longer than you'd expect for a temp job, but in this economy, workers are less likely to complain, " he said. "And the temp agencies are pretty much unregulated, so workers are on their own having to bring contract action."