Temporary Employment in the U.S. to Grow Faster Than All Jobs Through 2025, According to New Job Forecast From TrueBlue and Emsi

November 1, 2019

  • Workers ages 35 and older make up the largest percentage of temporary, or gig, workers; nearly 1 in 5 are ages 55 and older
  • Study reveals list of fastest-growing occupations and locations

TACOMA, Wash. and MOSCOW, Idaho – November 1, 2019 – Forty-two percent of people picking up temporary work take on at least two gigs per week1 and new research shows they will have even more opportunities to choose from. Temporary Help Services is the largest category of gig employment and serves as a bellwether for broader growth trends. A study by TrueBlue and Emsi projects that Temporary Help Services employment will grow to more than 3.2 million jobs by 2025, an increase of nearly 254,000 jobs (8.5%) from 2019. This compares to 6% growth for all U.S. jobs from 2019 to 2025.

The study is based on Emsi’s data, which is aggregated from state and federal employment sources. The analysis focuses on Temporary Help Services workers who are employed by companies as well as self-employed.

Key Findings:

  • Temporary employment has been growing steadily for the last several years as the U.S. recovered from the last recession. Nearly 480,000 jobs were added from 2012 to 2019 with companies seeking more flexibility in how they staff and workers seeking greater control over when and where they work.
  • While temporary employment is relatively balanced among age groups, the majority (57%) of people working temporary assignments, or gigs, are ages 35 and older; 18% are ages 55 and older. The number one reason why people say they want to take on gig work is to earn extra income followed by the desire to get their foot in the door with a company.2
    • 24 and younger – 16%
    • 25 to 34 – 27%
    • 35 to 44 – 21%
    • 45 to 54 – 18%
    • 55 and older – 18%
  • Los Angeles, CA (adding 13,466 jobs), Dallas, TX (+13,435 jobs), Chicago, IL (+12,944 jobs), Grand Rapids, MI (+8,997 jobs) and New York, NY (+8,718 jobs) are the top five metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) projected to add the largest number of temporary jobs from 2019 to 2025.
  • Supply chain-related jobs continue to dominate the list of fastest-growing temporary occupations from production to transportation and customer service.

“How companies and people look at work is different today, likely inspired by the memories of a casualty-ridden recession and the emergence of new technologies that make it easy to connect in real time for on-demand employment needs,” said Patrick Beharelle, CEO of TrueBlue. “Gig employment will continue to grow in popularity as more companies choose to reduce fixed labor costs to stay nimble and workers gravitate toward flexible work experiences that fit their lifestyles.”

“The labor market continues to be tight, and businesses are using many avenues to find the talent to keep their competitive edge,” said Rob Sentz, Emsi’s chief innovation officer. “This analysis indicates that gigs and other forms of temporary employment are a viable way for people to enter the labor market and for companies to quickly locate talent.”

1 and 2 TrueBlue’s October 2019 survey of more than 4,000 U.S. gig workers.

The fastest-growing temporary occupations from 2019 to 2025 include:

OccupationTemporary Employment 2019Temporary Employment 2025Temporary Employment Growth 2019 to 2025
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand544.450598,07753,62710%
Helpers – Production Workers96,191120,90024,70926%
Packers and Packagers, Hand124,098136,56512,46710%
Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators57,42962,9585,52910%
Human Resources Specialists54,74660,1565,41010%
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers47,95152,6134,66210%
Office Clerks, General118,404123,0164,6124%
Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders46,84351,3564,51310%
Registered Nurses45,15549,6374,48210%
Construction Laborers44,76749,1204,35310%
Substitute Teachers40,31844,3754,05610%
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners40,81344,8073,99410%
Customer Service Representatives91,74695,4753,7294%
Software Developers, Applications20,90224,1503,24816%

About Emsi
Founded in 2001, Emsi is a labor market analytics firm that uses data to improve economic prosperity by connecting people, education and work in communities across the U.S. and internationally. Emsi works with professionals in higher education, economic development, workforce development, talent acquisition and site selection. Headquartered in Moscow, Idaho, with offices in the U.K. and Dallas, Emsi serves clients across the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia. Learn more at www.economicmodeling.com.

About TrueBlue
TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) is a global leader in specialized workforce solutions that help clients achieve business growth and improve productivity. In 2018, the company connected approximately 730,000 people with work. TrueBlue’s PeopleReady segment offers on-demand industrial staffing services, PeopleManagement offers contingent and productivity-based, on-site industrial staffing and driver staffing services, and PeopleScout offers recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed service provider (MSP) solutions to a wide variety of industries. Learn more at www.trueblue.com.

Jennifer Grasz
Vice President, Corporate Communications
(312) 840-6327

Meredith Metzker
Data Journalist
(208) 883-3500

Source: TrueBlue