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Temp and contract jobs a good bet in today’s labor market

Monday, August 16, 2010 | Jackie Headapohl |

If you’ve been out of work for longer than six months, you should consider a temp job.

That’s the advice given by John Challenger of outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.

“It’s not healthy just sitting around at the computer waiting for a job,” he reasons. “Getting back to work is rejuvenating,” he says, adding, “It’s a good way to show you are filling in the gaps while unemployed.”

A temp job also makes you more attractive to employers who prefer to hire people who are working over those who are unemployed.

Previously it may not have made financial sense to take a temp job while receiving unemployment benefits because of the possibility you could receive lower benefits in the future. But that disincentive to taking a temp or contract is now gone thanks to the “EUC Fix,” which was part of the last unemployment extension. The fix allows the unemployed to take temporary or part-time jobs without fear of lowering their benefits.

The demand for temporary and contract help is booming, according to a story from Crain’s Detroit Business. The story features a number of local contract firms that are expanding and hiring.

One firm is Southfield-based Impact Management Services, which “within the next month … will add 50 contract pipefitters, machine operators, electricians and machine builders to its pool of 300 contract employees.”

“More people are open to using contract services right now because of the underlying uncertainty around the strength of the economy and how fast or how long it’s going to rebound,” President and CEO Peter Davis said.

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If you decide to go the route of a temp agency job, the website has a list of tips to help you get hired.

Remember, a temp job could be a stepping stone to a full-time position. Star employees hired in as temps are frequently offered permanent jobs.

Be sure to visit Two Roads Professional Resources’ website at to see all current and upcoming contract positions.