New Report Lists Fastest-Growing Temp Jobs – and HR Makes the Cut

In all the angst over the unemployment numbers during the Great Recession and not-so-great recovery, one area of recruiting has been going gangbusters: temporary work.

A report last fall from Staffing Industry Analysts predicted that the temporary staffing market would probably exceed its historical high in 2013, and a just released report from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists (EMSI) seems to be bearing that out.

According to the study, 40 percent of employers plan to hire temporary and contract workers in 2013, up from 36 percent last year, according to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast. Many of these employers – 42 percent – plan to transition some temporary workers into full-time, permanent employees.

List of fastest growing temporary occupations

On top of that, CareerBuilder and EMSI released a list of occupations from the study that are hiring temporary workers at an accelerated rate. The study uses EMSI’s extensive labor market database, which pulls from over 90 national and state employment resources and includes detailed information on employees and self-employed workers.

Among the fastest-growing temporary jobs, according to the CareerBuilder/EMSI survey, are:

Team Assemblers (help to assemble an entire product or part of a product.

  • Number of people employed: 128,096
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 21,529 – 20 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $13.25

Office Clerks (handle administrative tasks such as typing, filing, answering phones, etc)

  • Number of people employed: 132,264
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 21,219 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $13.18

Customer Service Representatives (provide information to customers and handle complaints)

  • Number of people employed: 76,445
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 12,334 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $14.90

Human Resources, Training and Labor Relations Specialists (support various HR functions such as training, benefits, etc)

  • Number of people employed: 59,597
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 11,893 – 25 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $26.44

Registered Nurses (provide patient care, advice and support)

  • Number of people employed: 66,844
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 8,766 – 15 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $32.10

Nursing Aides, Orderlies and Attendants (provide basic care to patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities)

  • Number of people employed: 31,975
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 5,155 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $11.91

Home Health Aides (monitor health status and assist with routine care such as changing bandages, applying topical medications, bathing, etc)

  • Number of people employed: 27,308
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 4,786 – 21 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $9.96

Maintenance and Repair Workers (maintain and repair machines, equipment and buildings)

  • Number of people employed: 24,238
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 3,917 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $16.94

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers (drive a tractor-trailer vehicle and may assist with unloading)

  • Number of people employed: 22,701
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 3,700 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $17.96

Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers and Weighers (assess products for defects, wear and deviations from specifications)

  • Number of people employed: 21,458
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 3,414 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $16.63

Sales Representatives, Services (sells services to businesses and consumers)

  • Number of people employed: 21,485
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 3,336 – 18 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $24.60

Computer Support Specialists (help people or organizations using computer software or equipment)

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  • Number of people employed: 16,197
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 2,574 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $23.58

Computer Programmers (write code to create and develop software programs)

  • Number of people employed: 11,487
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,821 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $34.48

Accountants and Auditors (prepare and examine financial records to ensure accuracy)

  • Number of people employed: 10,855
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,689 – 18 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $30.04

Business Operations Specialists (analyze and reengineer business processes to enhance product or service delivery and other functions)

  • Number of people employed: 10,528
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,677 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $30.82

Electricians (install and maintain electrical systems in homes, businesses, etc)

  • Number of people employed: 7,657
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,245 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $23.64

Sales Representatives, Wholesale & Manufacturing (sell goods for wholesalers and manufacturers to businesses, government groups and others)

  • Number of people employed: 7,028
  • Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,143 – 19 percent growth
  • Median hourly wage: $25.55

Fast growth in HR jobs? Who knew?

I’m not surprised by this list of fast growing temporary jobs, because we’ve all seen it before. Health care workers, accountants, computer techs, and truck drivers have all been in high demand for some time.

What IS surprising is that HR, training and labor relations specialists made the list. I don’t have any data on this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that is due to the extra workload that has come along with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and all the additional spending surrounding that.

Whatever it is, you can’t sneeze at a 25 percent increase in temporary jobs for HR pros from 2010-2012, especially since many temporary jobs eventually turn into permanent employment.

“More companies are turning to temporary and contract workers to meet evolving market demands and quickly scale up their businesses,” said Eric Gilpin, President of CareerBuilder’s Staffing and Recruiting Group, in a press release about the temporary job growth study. “For job seekers, it’s a great way to build relationships with employers and expand your resume, and is often an in-road into permanent placement within firms.”

Yes, its becoming more of a temporary and contingent labor world, particularly here in the U.S. And as this survey seems to clearly show, that probably isn’t going to change anytime soon.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.

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1 Comment on “New Report Lists Fastest-Growing Temp Jobs – and HR Makes the Cut

  1. Thanks for sharing this, John.

    As a former Labor Employee Relation Rep it’s good to know that if things ever get 2008 financial crisis tough in the market place again that I’ll have a great HR space to fall back on.

    Keep writing.

    Best,

    Rory

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