The total amount of hours worked in temp jobs increased by 2.5 percent in the third quarter relative to the second quarter, the most substantial increase in four years. The amount of temp hours in long-term employment contracts again increased considerably. The amount of temp hours in short-term employment contracts increased for the first time since the end of 2013. Just as the total amount of temp hours, turnover generated by the sector temp agencies grew for the sixth quarter running.
Hours worked in tem jobs
Also higher demand for short-term temporary contracts
The amount of long-term temporary contracts, e.g. secondment and pay rolling, increased by 3.5 percent in the third quarter. The number of hours worked in these types of contracts has risen for quite some time now and is consistent with the downward trend in permanent employment contracts. Because employers want to have more opportunities to recruit and cut back on staff, they increasingly often opt for long-term temporary employment contracts instead of permanent employment contracts. For the first time this year, the number of hours worked in short-term contracts also rose, i.e. by 1.4 percent. Usually, an increase in the amount of hours worked in short-term temp jobs is one of the first signs of a recovery of the labour market.
Turnover and hours worked in temp jobs
Also six quarters of continuous turnover growth
Apart from the amount of temp hours, turnover has also increased continuously since the second quarter of 2013. Prior to this increase, temporary employment agencies had faced turnover losses for seven quarters in a row. The turnover growth in the third quarter of 2014 was the largest in more than two years. In the third quarter, nearly 40 percent of temp job agencies achieved a turnover growth by more than 20 percent on an annual basis. This share is much larger than one year previously. In the third quarter of 2013, approximately 30 percent of temp job agencies realised a turnover growth of approximately 30 percent.
Cautious recovery of the labour market
Usually, an increase in the amount of hours worked in temp jobs is one of the first signs of a recovering labour market. The labour market also shows other improvements. There was a modest increase in the number of jobs and job vacancies. Unemployment fell for the second quarter in a row, although long-term unemployment increased further. The number of unemployed hardly changed in October. In September, unemployment also decreased less rapidly than during the period May-August, because more people are competing on the labour market. Part of them do not immediately find work. The economic growth is still fragile.
For more information on economic indicators, the reader is referred to the Economic Monitor.