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JOBS: Temp workers tend to be poor ones

The Press-Enterprise, August 29, 2012

 by Jack Katzanek

There was a very healthy bump in temporary hiring in Inland Southern California last month, and that's good news for the economy. It means employers need to get some bodies behind desks and on assembly lines.

But is it good news for the temp worker? A study released this week by the Center for Labor for Research and Education at UC Berkeley found that temp workers are twice as likely to be living under the poverty line than workers hired permanently. And, they often work without benefits, meaning an illness or an injury can greatly make it worse.

The median wage for a temp worker , based on data compiled between 2008 and 2010, is $13.72 per hour, compared to $19.13 for all other California workers. According to the report, 18.8. percent of temp workers live in poverty, compared to 8.9 percent of non-temp workers.

In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, 41,700 people were on the work rolls of temp agencies in July, according to a state report. that's a 16.5 percent increase from July 2011, making this a legitimate growth sector in the Inland area.

Statewide, more than 250,000 were temp workers in 2010, according to the UC Berkeley report.

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