ECONOMIC TIME MACHINE

Temp hiring the canary in the coal mine?

 

When companies stop hiring temporary workers, lay-offs tend to follow. The temp trends look worrisome in South Florida.

dhanks@MiamiHerald.com

The latest jobs report contains an ominous clue to the future of hiring in South Florida: less demand for temporary workers.

June saw Miami-Dade’s slowest growth in the temporary-hire category since June 2010, adding just 900 payroll positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s far less than the 3,000 or 4,000 positions added in that category during the start of 2012.

Temporary hiring can be a leading indicator for recoveries and downturns because “temps” are often used when sales increase but companies don’t feel confident enough to make permanent hires.

In Broward, temporary hiring began contracting in December after growing for most of 2011. The decline in temporary jobs was followed five months later by Broward’s first drop in overall hiring, with a net loss of 1,600 payroll positions. June saw a tiny decline of 400 jobs overall. It was the first back-to-back job decline for Broward since Sept. 20120.

Miami-Dade continues to add payroll positions, but at a much slower pace than in the start of the year. In June, the economy added about 11,000 positions overall, compared to the 21,000 jobs that companies added each month through March.

The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine tracks 60 local indicators in an effort to chart South Florida’s recovery from the Great Recession. By comparing current conditions to where they were before the downturn, the ETM attempts to measure how far back the recession set the economy. The answer so far: June 2003. Visit ETM headquarters at miamiherald.com/economic-time-machine for the latest updates.

Read more The Economic Time Machine stories from the Miami Herald

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