With computer, management and legal positions in highest demand, temporary employment is expected to grow three times as fast as total employment over the next decade, according to the 2007 Temporary Jobs Guidebook report released Feb. 5 by Staffing Industry Analysts, a Los Altos provider of workforce market intelligence.
Demand for IT workers remains strong and is expected to maintain its momentum. The five temporary employment positions in the report expected to experience the largest annual growth in the next decade are all IT-related. Among these, network systems and data communications analysts are expected to experience the greatest annual increase, projected at 8.5 percent.
Computer and mathematical fields as a whole are forecasted to have a 5.5 percent annual growth rate in temporary employment. Management is expected to show 5.2 percent annual growth and installation, maintenance and repair are predicted to grow at a rate of 5 percent.
"From our analysis, we predict that over the next 10 years, corporate America is likely to face a distinct challenge to find highly skilled workers to help them achieve their business objectives," said Barry Asin, chief analyst of Staffing Industry Analysts.
"As a result, employers can expect rising prices for skilled temporary help and longer waits to find these workers. For temporary staffing firms, the demand for contingent workers will translate into a growth opportunity for the foreseeable future."
Due to a fundamental shift in the composition of the U.S. workforce, as well as a continuing low professional unemployment rate, demand for temporary labor is expected to outpace the growth of total employment, the report revealed. Total employment is expected to grow 1.2 percent annually, compared to temporary or contingent labor, which is expected to grow 3.8 percent.
The report also notes a rush to satisfy a demand for team assemblers—individuals who work as part of a team and are responsible for assembling a product or component of a product. Over the last year, more than 450 staffing firms began offering such workers, an increase of about 50 percent, bringing the total number of temporary workers in this category to more than 110,000 in the U.S. The market penetration is 9.2 percent.
Other areas where growth in contingent labor is expected to outpace full-time employment include office and administrative support, transportation and material moving and production workers, expected to account for nearly 75 percent of the demand for all temporary staffing in the next decade. Laborers, freight, stock and material movers alone will account for 16 percent of all temporary help in the U.S. In addition, a severe shortage of healthcare workers is expected to cause registered nurses to become the most commonly placed skilled temporary professional over the next 10 years.