The image of temporary workers as primarily office clerks and administrative assistants is out of date. Temps are now found on factory assembly lines, in IT departments, law firms and hospitals.
In 1990, office and administrative support jobs made up 42 percent of temp work, and industrial jobs accounted for 28 percent, according to Susan Houseman, an economist at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
By 2000, that figure was nearly reversed: 47 percent of temp jobs involved industrial work, such as manufacturing and warehousing. Just 28 percent were in office and clerical positions.
The figures for both categories have since declined as temp jobs have extended into many other industries.
Below is a breakdown of spending on temporary workers by job type last year, as a percentage of all such spending. For example, industrial positions accounted for 28 percent of all money spent on temps in 2012. Office and clerical work made up 18 percent.
|Job type||Percentage of 2012 spending on temps|
|Finance and accounting||6.2|
|Source: Staffing Industry Analysts|