Temp Industry Analysis

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This article is about the rise of the temp industry. The temp industry has become so popular that it has transitioned to the norm when it comes to jobs. The popularity for temp jobs began following WWII. Agencies such as ManPower Inc. and Russell Kelley Office Service gained popularity extremely quick. In order to avoid union opposition temp agencies advertised temp work as ”women’s work”. This resulted in a massive boost in revenue and agencies like Kelly Girls, becoming cultural icons. For example, “By 1957, Kelly reported nearly $7 million in sales; in 1962, with 148 branches and $24 million in sales”. In general, temp jobs are low waged and workers receive little to no benefits. This results in massive savings for the businesses using…show more content…
From the 1971 Kelly Services “Never-Never” girl advertisement, it becomes clear that Marx’s prediction of the Alienation of the worker is in action. This ad clearly separates employees into “antagonistic and unequal social classes that break down community and caring relationships”. It reduces employees and their human and health issues into business inconveniences and encourages the employer to “drop them”. By converting jobs into temp positions the employers are making the workforce in general more insecure and immiserating the workers as Marx predicted. The position of the worker is clearly worsening as the Temp Industry added more jobs than any other between 2010 and 2013. The article mentioned that one quarter of jobs in America pay below the federal poverty line for a family of four. With families denied steady well-paying work, parents will have to work unreasonably long hours and also contribute to the breakdown of caring relationships in society. In the article the cited justifications for temp work being so low paid and devoid of basic protections and benefits was due to the fact it was “women’s work” and just extra spending money for housewives. In today’s economy, a similar argument exists against raising minimum wage: that the majority of minimum wage workers are younger adults who live with…show more content…
In Smith’s opinion the growing popularity of temp workers and agencies is a result of the free market functioning as it is supposed to. The more temp workers there are the better the free market will do because of these jobs. Adam Smith believed that the unregulated market will produce the most benefit than a regulated one could. The invisible hand is an important factor in Smith’s argument because it is when the market competition drives self-interested individuals to act in ways that serve society. The temp jobs are bettering the society because it is lowering costs for the business that are switching to this kind of labor. Mises and Hayek would also be on Smith’s side about the temp

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