Temporary Employment Situations – Part II

by Cameron Macht

Earlier this week a blog post looked at job opportunities in the employment services sector. Eight of the top ten high-demand occupations in that sector require on-the-job training, while just two require a college degree. But according to an in-depth report (pdf) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the expanding role of temporary help services, the demand for temporary employees has shifted away from low-skill, low-paying jobs in recent years to more high-skill, high-paying positions. What’s the trend in Minnesota?


A Closer Look at Education

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that two out of every five adult workers in employment services sector in Minnesota have a high school diploma or less. By comparison, educational levels in all industries in the state were generally much higher.


Education Level of Workers in MN

Data show that while the demand for more high-skill, high-paying temporary help positions may be a trend in the future, it is not the present reality in Minnesota. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of adult workers with some college or a college degree increased by four percent in Minnesota.  In comparison, the number of adult workers with higher education in the employment services sector increased by just over one percent during the last decade.


Even before the recession, when the economy was adding jobs, the number of workers in the employment services sector with some college or a degree did not increase as fast as it did in other industries. Many of the jobs are available for people with lower levels of education through on-the-job training.


While long-term trends point to an increase in educational requirements, data show that the employment services sector remains a good starting point for workers with a high school diploma or less who need to get into the workforce quickly without major changes in educational attainment.


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