Analysts spent much of the week digesting the poor employment figures that were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, and many noticed that what little job growth was seen in March came from sectors that typically pay less than positions in other industries.
According to The New York Times, Sarah Bloom Raskin, a member of the Federal Reserve Board, said that hiring seems to be returning jobs in the food services and retail sectors in the post-recession era. However, the bulk of the jobs that were shed during the downturn were middle-range wage jobs.
Never was this trend more identifiable than in March, when the food services and drinking places industry made up the largest share of employment in history, with nearly one in every 13 Americans working in the sector. To Raskin, this trend is somewhat problematic, and has the same inherent problems as the rise in penetration of temporary services.
"Temporary help is rapidly approaching a new record," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. "That of course means more flexibility for employers, and less job security for workers."
This isn't true for every facet of contract staffing, though. Many employers have been able to significantly reduce their employee turnover rate by taking a managed labor approach to hiring, in which a contract worker receives the proper training and is paid on performance, assuring equality.
But analysts are still wary of the 7.6 million workers who are working part-time and say they hope to find a full-time position. What's more, this class of unemployed people does not count toward the unemployment rate.
According to recent research from Deutsche Bank, the number of contract workers grew in March by 6.8 percent compared with the same period from 2012, while temporary penetration rose to 1.94 percent.