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home : news : news   October 27, 2016

1/16/2016 6:00:00 AM
Wanted: Temporary employees

Temporary employment has been on the rise in the Illinois Valley, especially in industrial fields. Megan Cawley winds electrical capacitors on a machine at Ronken Industries Inc. in Spring Valley. While Ronken does not hire temporary employees anymore, many temporary jobs available are in similar  industrial or clerical workplaces.NewsTribune Photo/Scott Anderson
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Temporary employment has been on the rise in the Illinois Valley, especially in industrial fields. Megan Cawley winds electrical capacitors on a machine at Ronken Industries Inc. in Spring Valley. While Ronken does not hire temporary employees anymore, many temporary jobs available are in similar  industrial or clerical workplaces.

NewsTribune Photo/Scott Anderson
Brett Herrmann
NewsTribune Reporter

More people are relying on employment agencies to find work, and Illinois Valley area residents are no different than the rest.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report, temporary staffing hit an all-time high in December 2015 with just over 3 million employees in temporary positions. This is the highest mark the nation has seen since the bureau began measuring in 1990.

The temporary job market has been climbing steadily since the recession and has almost doubled from 1.7 million jobs in June 2009.

More temporary work in the IV?
 While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have exact numbers for North Central Illinois, local staffing agencies have noticed the development as well.

“We get a lot of calls for people that are looking for temporary jobs,” said Pam Furlan, executive director of the Business Employment Skills Team in Peru. And she is not the only one noticing the trend.

“We have seen quite an influx in people seeking our services,” said Becky Lukosus, office manager for Shafer Staffing Inc. in La Salle.

Staffing agencies help bring businesses and employees together by acting as a middle man in the hiring process. The positions available include a variety of sectors in the workforce.  

“It kind of varies. We’re based in light industrial, clerical and even some heavy industrial,” Lukosus said. “It really depends on what kind of positions are out there. It’s a little bit of everything.”

Why are employers looking for temps?
Employers are looking for temporary employees simply because it is easier.

“I think it’s easily accessible and more convenient,” said Jennifer Brown, regional manager for The Reserves Network. “We do all the heavy work for them so it makes the hiring process much easier.”

It also offers the companies a security blanket in the hiring process.

“There is no obligation on the part of the business to retain the individual,” Furlan said.

This allows for businesses to dismiss the temporary employees more easily than if they hired directly.

“There might be 10 positions and they bring in 20 (temporary) people. Then they see who works out,” Furlan said.

Lukosus said that employers also don’t have to worry about workers’ compensation in the first 90 days. Essentially, temporary positions allow employers to test out potential hires on a trial run basis.

Why do employees want temporary work?
People are looking for more temporary work for a variety of reasons.

“It’s more difficult going door-to-door trying to find a job these days,” Lukosus said.

At Shafer Staffing they try to make the hiring process easier for people looking for work.

Furlan said that potential hires are aware that a lot of these temporary positions can lead to full-time jobs.

“Some of them know that staffing agencies are working with business,” Furlan said. “They might think, ‘This is the best way to get my foot in the door.’”

But also, like the employers, it can be a trial run for the employees too. Furlan said it allows them to test the waters and if they don’t like the job, they don’t have an obligation to stay.

“It doesn’t hurt their work history if they get on temporarily and don’t know if it will work out,” she said.

And then in some cases a potential hire may just be looking for temporary work because they have other commitments throughout the year.

Quality of work improving?
Temporary work might not be thought of as glamorous, but Lukosus said that there have been a variety of unique positions available lately.

“In the last quarter to a half-year we’ve had a ton of different jobs come in that we haven’t seen before; jobs requiring degrees,” she said.

So, there is quality work in the temporary fields, and now more companies are looking to hire full time from the temporary positions.

“A majority of our clients do look to hire,” Lukosus said. “Every client we deal with has that option.”

Brett Herrmann can be reached at (815) 220-6933 or Follow him on Twitter @NT_SpringValley.

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016
Article comment by: METALWORKER

Oh come on Fostr9999999999999. I am a retired union sheet metal worker and never, in 35 years held a permanent job.
A bld. starts and folks are hired. That bld. is completed and folks are let go.
The Post office is staffed with Temps during rush times. The US military is primarily staffed, any more with National Guard and reserve troops when additional force is needed. Some times a stop gap is put into effect to keep forces at needed strength. but more often Temps are hired for 89 days , let go and a few weeks later are hired back for another 89 days because the employer does not want to pay benefits.
That has been going on for the last half century or more and has nothing to do with the state of the economy but your BS lets you off the hook so the right wing keeps spouting that same BS. As far as manufacturing jobs, those jobs could be back in the U. S. A. in less than a year if folks would only buy U. S. made goods.
Some things would have to be done with out for a time but the jobs would come back.
Their choice. your fault and not the governments.

Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Article comment by: Anonymous95970

I have seen "temps" go on for more than three years without being hired for the company. It should be illegal.

Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Article comment by: fosterbw99

This is a sign of an unstable economy. Employers are unable to commit to hiring full time employees despite having work that needs to be done. This indicates that they cannot count on steady orders, especially in the manufacturing sector.

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