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Hamersma article on temporary help work published in Industrial Relations

Dec 31, 2013

Temporary Help Work: Earnings, Wages, and Multiple Job Holding

Sarah Hamersma, Carolyn Heinrich & Peter Mueser

Industrial Relations, December 2013

Sarah Hamersma

Sarah Hamersma


Temporary help services (THS) employment has been growing in size, particularly among disadvantaged workers. An extended policy debate focuses on the low earnings, limited benefits, and insecurity that such jobs appear to provide. The authors investigate the earnings and wage differentials observed between THS and other jobs in a sample of disadvantaged workers. They find lower quarterly earnings at THS jobs but a $1 per hour wage premium. They reconcile these findings in terms of the shorter duration and lower hours worked at THS jobs. The authors interpret the premium as a compensating wage differential.