Expert: Permanent jobs remain scarce, temporary jobs now a saving grace


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Getting people back to work amid a shaky economy is no easy task.

David Irwin, Director of Communications for PeopleReady and TrueBlue helps people find work for a living. He says during these unprecedented times, we have to rethink the job approach and that includes looking for temporary work.

“There are opportunities available right now,” Irwin said.

In fact, Irwin’s team is looking to help fill 100 positions immediately to help a client in Mt. Juliet get their operations up and running. The job starts out paying $14/hour and up and everyone will be paid daily.

“So many people are experiencing job loss right now,” Irwin said. “Temporary jobs right now are providing a safety net for a lot of families and communities.”

As of January 9, 2021, the number of individuals filing new unemployment claims for the previous week was 21,954, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Continued claims in Tennessee currently sits at 58,945.

“In December, we saw full-time permanent jobs shed a significant amount of jobs across the nation, shedding around 140,000 jobs. That is the most significant permanent full-time job loss reported in pandemic time since April,” Irwin said.

During that same time, according to Irwin, there were 67,000 temporary jobs added to the workforce nationwide.

Irwin says it’s not uncommon for companies to add temporary jobs to the workforce before they add full-time permeant jobs during an economic downturn.

“Our quick and easy message: Those jobs are not coming back anytime soon.”

Irwin says companies are still navigating the waters before diving in amid uncertain times.

“Companies need to flex up and flex down their workforces very quickly based on a multitude of factors, including consumer demand and temporary jobs are one real easy way for them to do that,” Irwin said.

Irwin says 51 percent of those taking temporary jobs right now have experienced the loss of their full-time job.

Irwin’s team recently analyzed the top temp-jobs hiring over the next 30 days in Tennessee. Those jobs include but are not limited to construction and general workers, sanitation workers, waste management, manufacturing and production workers, warehouse workers (including forklift operators), and skilled trade workers like carpenters and electricians.

For more help finding open positions, download the app JobStack or go to the website

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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