Temp hiring slow in down economy

Office workers

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Renita Jablonski: The world's largest temp staffing company announced a 27 percent drop in profit today. Adecco is based in Switzerland. The company says hiring slumps in the U.S. and U.K. aren't giving Adecco much visibility these days. Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson has more on the industry's prospects.


Jeremy Hobson: There are about 3 million temporary workers employed on any given day in the U.S., and some experts think they've got a leg up in an economic downturn.

Vicki Smith is a professor at the University of California-Davis and author of The Good Temp.

Vicki Smith: Employers don't want to take on the added costs of hiring people on a permanent basis. But one of the really big reasons is that you don't have permanent workforce on your payroll that you're obligated to in the long run.

Still, things aren't exactly rosy right now in the temp world.

Randy Hatcher's firm, MAU Inc, helps employers find temporary workers. He says revenues are down about 3 percent from last year, and he projects they'll drop further.

Randy Hatcher: I don't think we've talked to one customer whose volume will be up. And I would say our average customer, their volume will be flat to down.

Still, Hatcher says when the economy does turn around, temps will be the first to benefit -- because, he says, they can be hired within hours.

In New York, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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