NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Marcello Estevao

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 1999The Evolution of the Demand for Temporary Help Supply Employment in the United States
with Saul Lach: w7427
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported an extraordinary increase in temporary help supply (THS) employment during the late 1980s and the 1990s. However, little is known about the venues where these THS employees actually work. Our estimates indicate that the proportion of THS employees in each major American industry, except the public sector, increased during 1977-97. By 1997, close to 4 percent of the employees in manufacturing and services were THS workers. In the service sector, the increase was accompanied by a large increase in direct hires. In manufacturing, however, it was accompanied by a decline in direct hiring from its peak in 1989 even though output increased substantially in the 1990s. Practically, all of the growth in THS employment is attributed to a change in th...

Published: Carre, Francoise et al. (eds.) Nonstandard work: The nature and challenges of changing employment arrangements, Industrial Relations Research Association Series. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, ILR Press, 2000.

November 1999Measuring Temporary Labor Outsourcing in U.S. Manufacturing
with Saul Lach: w7421
Several analysts claim that firms have been using more flexible work arrangements in order to contain the costly adjustment of labor to changes in economic conditions. In particular, temporary help supply (THS) employment has increased dramatically in the last ten years. However, there is only scant evidence on the industries that are hiring this type of worker. In particular, some anecdotal evidence points to the fact that manufacturing industries have substantially stepped up their demand for THS workers since the mid-1980s. If this is true, not accounting for this flow of workers from the service sector to manufacturing may lead to misleading conclusions about the cyclical and long-term path of manufacturing employment and hours of work. We close this gap by providing several estimat...
 
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