National

Feb 15, 2010 11:04 AM by Associated Press

Use of temps may no longer signal permanent hiring

When employers hire temporary staff after a recession, it's long been seen as a sign they'll soon hire permanent workers.

After the 1990-1991 recession, for instance, gains in temporary hiring starting in August 1991 led almost immediately to stepped-up permanent hiring. And after the 2001 recession, temporary hiring rose for three straight months in the summer of 2003. By September, employers were adding full-time jobs each month.

This time around, companies have hired more temps for four straight months. Yet they remain reluctant to make permanent hires because of doubts about the economic recovery's durability.

Even companies that are boosting production seem inclined to get by with their existing workers, plus temporary staff if necessary.

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