The National Federation of Independent Business came out with a report saying that the hiring of temporary workers is not only up, but is surging. In the last month alone, around 52,000 new temporary positions were filled, and that gives the organization a feeling that, at least for some companies, regular employment might be just around the corner if it follows previous patterns where unemployment was high.

Of course, one of the problems with reporting unemployment figures is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts temp jobs as, well, jobs, which means the drop in the unemployment rate came because of this figure, with nothing indicating whether these temp jobs are full time, contract, or part time. In other words, as I’ve said before, overall unemployment numbers are still misleading.

Something that often happens is that if temp workers do a good job, they’ll get offered permanent work. That works out well for both parties, and the economy as well. The rise in temp jobs means companies have realized that they probably cut too deeply and need some help, and since late fall isn’t usually a boom time in hiring, this might be a significant move that really could mean some good things for employment in the long run.

Of course, it’s also possible that many of these temporary jobs could end after the holidays, especially if they were factory workers who were needed to help boost production or store clerks who were hired to help cover the holiday shopping rush. The overall employment industry will know better come February whether this was just a blip on the radar or if things are finally ready to turn around.

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