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Center for Labor Research and Education


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California Prepares for Changing Demands on Its Workforce

Yahoo! News

California companies relied on an estimated 282,000 temporary employees in 2010, the San Jose Mercury News reports. This trend worries the Center for Labor Research and Education, which notes that temporary workers make lower wages than permanent employees and rely more heavily on the Golden State’s disappearing government services.

How does the temporary worker status affect the employees?

Researchers note that temporary workers’ median wages are 28 percent less than the median earnings of permanent workers. As a result, these workers are “twice as likely as nontemps to live in poverty, receive food stamps and be on Medicaid.”

Why do companies prefer hiring temporary versus permanent employees?

Due to the volatile nature of California’s economy, companies reportedly see temporary workers as a commodity they can easily shed, if consumer demand for a product or service falls below expectations.

Who are the temporary workers?

Found in both white- and blue-collar jobs, about 54.2 percent of temporary employees are women. Sixty-five percent are non-white.

What is California’s current unemployment rate?

As of last week, California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) reported that the Golden State’s unemployment rate had remained steady at 10.7 percent. This factors in the 25,200 jobs that were created in July.

What is the makeup of the state’s labor force?

As noted by the EDD, California’s workforce has seen an increase of 1.8 percent over the past 12 months. The biggest cut in the number of participants was found in the 25 to 34 age category, which decreased by 0.7 percent. Young workers participating in the labor force are increasing. For the 16 to 19 age group, the number increased by 4.6 percent; for those aged between 20 and 24, the rate increased by 5.3 percent. Another sharp increase took place in the over-65 age group, with 3.7 percent.

Which jobs are likely to go by the wayside by 2020?

The Sacramento Bee notes that the State of California projects adding 2.6 million jobs by 2020, but some professions will not benefit from this boon. The professions with largest projected job losses include postal work (50.3 percent loss), logging (40 percent loss), desktop publishing (23.5 percent loss), switchboard operating (22.8 percent loss) and word-processing (11.6 percent loss). Greatest gains are for biomedical engineers (67.35 percent increase), home health aides (52.4 percent increase) and carpenter helpers (51.6 percent increase).

How does California seek to prepare its workforce for the changes?

The Labor and Workforce Development Agency has issued a news release, announcing employment-training contracts worth $7.4 million. Participating employers in the program are primarily manufacturers.