Meet America's Second Largest Employer: A Temp Agency

Tyler Durden's picture

Despite the mainstream media's inability to see things as they are - as opposed to how they hope them to be for fear of exposing the status quo for the illusion that it really is - the subject of 'job quality' in this recovery-less recovery has never been far from our thoughts since 2010. David Stockman has often discussed the loss of 'bread-winner' jobs and in fact not only are there a record number of Americans with temporary jobs (28 million or one-in-ten non-farm workers) but behind Wal-Mart (itself arguably a somewhat part-time employer), the Washington Examiner reports, that the second largest employer in America is Kelly Services - a temporary work provider. The company, started in 1946, serves 99% of the Fortune 100 and had revenues of $5.5bn in 2012 (though even this burgeoning growth area is struggling in the last quarter).

This is Kelly Services...

And while fees collected are soaring, meaning more and more workers are part-time...

It's been a good run but even Kelly Services is seeing growth slow...

Don't worry though as modest job gaines are expected to continue in the US (and Asia-Pac will lead the growth apparently - even as China steps on the brake and the RBA fears recession)...


As The Examiner concludes, echoing our and Mr. Stockman's previous thoughts, it's a sad state of affairs for our country that the recovery, or lack thereof, is being fueled by a shift from full-time to part-time work.

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Doubleguns's picture

Obama delaying Obamacare should explain it all. 

Spider's picture

LOL - and when this 'recovery' works its way into the stock market, there will be a huge drop.  But gold should do quite well as QE is INCREASED (taper my butt!) so you better buy your gold before COMEX runs out and the price rockets

WarriorClass's picture

Remember Ted Kenedy's remarks on the Immigration Reform Act of 1965?

Now we learn that the GOPs immigration policy was devised by the communist party.  Who needs Democrats anymore?


Richard Chesler's picture

I hear Kelly pays great benefits.

James_Cole's picture

* Every * recovery after recession in the past 80 yrs has been 'fueled' by part-time work. It's disengenuous to pretend this is a new phenomenon.

The unfortunate thing is the decent jobs have been shipped out since the 70's leaving little job growth outside of crap options.

Not an accident though, everyone should know by now this is an intended + expected consequence of neoliberalism.

Hohum's picture


You're right.  But isn't it a capitalist's wet dream?  Just in time inventory and just in time employees.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Obamacare won't help, but this started a long time before Obamacare was a gleam in Obama's sociopathic eye.   This is the result of wage arbitrage caused largely by globalization and the rise of mega-companies like Wal-Mart who basically pay a few people a lot of money and everyone else jack shit, while simultaneously destroying local small businesses that were once the backbone of the middle class.  

McMolotov's picture

We'll all have to settle for a few part-time jobs earning barely enough to scrape by before all is said and done. The fun is only just beginning.

Would you like some Extra Big-Ass Fries with your wage slavery?

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

In 1970 one breadwinner could take care of a family. 

2013... Both parents working as temps can barely scrape by, never mind make their debt service payments (feudalism, any one)

War was declared on the white, middle class male.  And its time we acknowledge as much.  The question is why?  Who wanted that?

James_Cole's picture

War was declared on the white, middle class male.  And its time we acknowledge as much.  The question is why?  Who wanted that?

It's always been a war waged by the rich against everyone else. White folks were generally treated better than their minority counterparts in the US but not anymore. Maybe because .gov no longer needs to cater so much to the white vote?

US business interests have long exported poverty in order to create 'labour flexibility' in the rest of the world. The last 30 years of compliant population and captured .gov have made it possible at home now too. 

What goes around comes around. 

Dingleberry's picture

To answer your question honestly, it was two things. I know. I grew up watching it.

First was rampant consumerism. In the old days that you speak of, the house was small, and there was one car in the driveway. And one TV. Those same houses today wouldn'e even be considered a garage.

Second was feminism. The women were told that they needed a career, use their brains and stop being oppressed at home. So they drank the Kool-aid. And are now on anti-depressants and valiums. Family destruction naturally followed. Now everyone is on meds and miserable.

There are your answers. 

IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

Yes it was all "feminism's" fault.  It must be nice to do whatever you want in life while if you happen to be born a woman society is going limit your choices (in the name of the "family" of course).  The valium and anti-depressents started in the 50s, you moron, when they stay at home mom was still the norm.  And families were often just as screwed up then, they just didn't talk about it.  The whole "perfect nuclear family" scenario was the aberation born out of good jobs and some material comfort.  Everyone contributing to the struggle to survive is much more the norm - be it hunting/gathering, working the farm or now - two temps jobs just to make rent.

Dingleberry's picture

Denial is very powerful. The only cure is reality. Welcome to it.

Feminism (like any other "ism") was a tool used to get everyone off the economic bench. It was sold as "freedom" or "choice". 

It turned out to be anything but. Obviously you do not know professional women. Many, if not most, would love to work on their own terms like part time, if at all. But that wouldn't be "work" now would it?

BTW, a quarter of white women are on psych meds and rising fast. That only started in the last two decades.  Wonder what happened?

But I should know better than to argue with fools.

Now go take your meds, and your kids to therapy.

IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

I am not in denial.  And I happen to be a professional woman who works with many other professional women, none of whom want to work part time "if at all".  And I am definitely not on meds or in therapy so take your preconceptions and shove them up your ass.  "Dingleberry" what an appropriate name - you are definitely like the little pieces of shit that clings to a dog's fur. 

Dingleberry's picture

your ex(s) have my sympathy. And you may want to get that anger checked out.

Edelweiss's picture

 A big +1 on the consumerism.  Quite a few years ago, I told my wife I was tired of working extra to buy shit that really didn't matter to me.  We've since changed course.  No more overtime, no new loans, and living below our means is the new norm.  I think we both sleep better knowing we have a nice savings balance, and fewer worries.  As for the feminism, to me it's a sort of partial feminism.  I work in an area dominated by women, and have a front row seat.  My experience has been that women fully expect equal pay/benefits/consideration, except when a work assignment involves heavy lifting, or dealing with difficult, sometimes violent people.  My female coworkers are happy to step back if confrontation is likely, or occuring.  If you don't step immediately to the challenge, they typically will attempt to use shame, or guilt to get the desired result.  At those times, they are very comfortable with traditional roles.  Funny how that works.  As for seeing lots of miserable women who tell me they would be content to stay at home?  I can attest to that. 

spine001's picture

Wage equalization. Nobody in particular is driving this except natural forces of evolution. You find similar dynamics at play in many closed biological system as the number of organisms, us, grows with finite resources. At some point previous barriers like geographical or physical or artificial, like frontiers start to inexorably break, this is called enthropy, no matter what you do it goes always up. Once barriers start to break how can you force a worker in China to make less in terms of energy for the same amount of work than a worker in the USA or Monaco? Only war could accomplish that. Funny, the same behaviour occurs in nature when species compete. Do I need to tell you who survives? The weak? The kind? The loving? The considerate? Or those who provide critical value to survival? Be it force, knowledge, servives, food, security, etc. Sad but true. Interesting, in nature individual bacteria are programmed to self sacrifice to help the survival of the colony, they do that to be able to pass critical genetic traits that will allow the surviving ones to remain alive.

IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

And not everyone else?  Really?  EVERYONE is getting screwed at this point that isn't a part of TPTB but the "white middle class male" seems to think he is the specifically targeted.  Memo to Herd Redirection - the white middle class male is only the last person to notice this reality as he previously had it better than most others.  You are not that special.  Welcome to just being another member of the herd.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

LOL, thanks for your perspective.  Last person to notice, or the last victim to be targeted?

White middle class males were relatively wealthy, well-educated, well-armed...  They were the biggest obstacle to elite domination in 1970 and the issue has since been addressed.  Divide and conquer.  By sex, by race, by religion, red vs blue, white vs black vs latino.  When the purchasing power of food stamps is reduced, who will the news blame?


IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

I agree with your point about divide and conquer but I think you have too much faith in your own kind.  I am not sure white males were ever a major obstacle to elite dominance as too many of them fell into the divide and conquer strategy willingly as anyone else.  And being "well-armed" has had very little effect on the overall slide to fascism.  Unfortunately too many of the pro-gun crowd has been completely on board with other destructions of liberties (war on drugs, search and seizure, ect.) that I they have not been the friends of liberty that they claim.   I consider myself pro-gun but do not neccessarily trust many so-called "allies".

The "last person to notice or last victim to be targeted" is a valid question, though.  Thanks for the thoughtful reply as opposed to being a self-righteous ass like Dingleberry.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Anyone that brings a kid up today in the US Corpratocracy is an unfit parent.

IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

Your kids will now be placed in the custody of Carl's Jr. (or Wal-mart or Bank of America or JPM).  What better way to complete the transition to full blown fascism!

Shizzmoney's picture

Right.  Temp agencies soared during Romney's time here in MA, and their businesses got everything from tax breaks to health care concessions (thanks, Heritage/RomneyCare...which was the model for Obamacare).  Temp employment boomed as a result (especially since MA has alot of high labor cost tech workers).

prains's picture

The con game of using your home value as an ATM is dead, debt as income is dead, there's no more shell games to trick the average worker into thinking there's a future. The only thing holding them back is their own stupidity. Once the dawn of recognition rises, it'll be red skies.

kridkrid's picture

^^^^ This. Anything else that we bitch about is a byproduct of what prains describes here. Debt money requires infinate growth using finite resources. Humanity is in a vice grip.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Did they ever think the debt could be repayed, or did they first want the entire world pledged as collateral to them, and then repayment be damned?

All I know is, possession of 100% of the Earth is going to be mighty tough for the 0.1% to hold on to, possession being 9/10ths of the law, and all.

HowardBeale's picture

"...going to be mighty hold on to..."


They don't get that, as they are literally perceiving this as a game--Monopoly, for example. They're living in golden cocoons, and the first glimplse they will get that there is anything in existence other than themselves will be when the chain saw of righteous rebellion buzzes through their existence...

franzpick's picture

Mortgagees changed things several years ago; now, repossession is 9/10ths of the law.

Dingleberry's picture

Why ya'll bitching?


You smart bitchez know this.

We tried to turn Detroit into Sweden.

We got Somalia instead.


WarriorClass's picture

The GOP's immigration policy explains it the best - it was devised by the communist party.


Herd Redirection Committee's picture

"The American gun-owning, freedom-loving middle-class was the biggest obstacle to One-World-Government-equally-distributed-misery plans of the international bankster cartel. It was no accident that American wages started stagnating in 1970 and have decreased ever since"


IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

Not.  It is no accident but it does not stem from any "One-World-Government-equally-distrubuted-misery"  conspiracy bullshit.  Let me infuse a dose of reality here:

ATTENTION "Persecuted" Middle-Class White Males:  Your comfortable existence has never been the norm.  You were only admitted to "The Club" of relative priviledge by virtue of a time of relative plenty spurred on by the Enlightment, the Industrial Revolution, agricultural surplus, and technology.  At the tail end of this wave, some (mostly) white educated women were granted access to "The Club" as well.  The good times are beginning to end.  Your membership to "The Club" was only temporary is now that scarcity is returning is now being rescinded (this includes the women too).  You, however, have bought into the propaganda that the REAL members of "The Club" have sold you and blame your falling status on those below you, as if they had any real power.  Your owners appreciate this.  While you are kept busy being angry and resentful they can continue to horde more of the increasingly limited resources for themselves and you, being consumed with your own resentment, are not doing something productive like working towards a better future.  Win-win for them!  But go ahead and continue your blame circle jerk...

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Saying immigration policies have hurt America's middle class is different from saying "They took rrrrr jobs!"

The immigration policies were implemented by who? 

BTW, you are really really defensive.

IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

Where did I mention anything about immigration?

Bad Attitude's picture

The MSM won't report anything that portrays Dear Leader in a negative light. I'm surprised we've heard any negative press about Obamacare, but I'm sure the Republicans are somehow to blame for its problems. Obamacare is supposed to solve all the nation's ills and lead us Forward!

bonderøven-farm ass's picture

Can't bitch about something you don't understand.  Has ANYONE read that piece of shit legislation yet?


arnogn143's picture

 A long time troll here but FWIW, this claim has been refuted by Kelly on their intranet.

Dingleberry's picture

Most temps that I know are youngsters, single moms or older folks that fucked up their lives making stupid decisions.

Now more are going to be joining the rolls due to Obammy care.

These groups voted for Obammy en mass.

I LOVE it.

PTR's picture

Roughly half to 2/3 of the programmers/software support for where I work are "contractors," which is totally a money saving move by not having to pay insurance, 401k, etc.  And we're Fortune 500 and global.

Competent people and all.  And most of them ARE the parents.

Dingleberry's picture

I worked at a couple of temp agencies when I was younger, and have family that did so. Most were not programmers or software types. Think potheads. Think drop outs. Think people born into crappy circumstances and not ever getting away form them. Think people doing idiotic things and now needing a job.

That's what I saw. Recently.

Bill Brasky's picture

I should start my own temp agency. I will call it Labor Pimps!

eclectic syncretist's picture

Your business model could be trading beer and wine for SNAP cards, which could then be converted to cash using any number of launder means, ala the big banksters.

sbenard's picture

Who needs jobs? We have PRINTED prosperity now!

Cursive's picture


Was just thinking how sad it would be, as a man, to think of oneself as a "Kelly Girl."  USSA!  USSA!  What a country!

gjp's picture

Doesn't matter until it does.  Who needs even a temp job, we've got the wealth effect.  Stocks up, bonds up, dollar up.  USA, USA, USA!  Reality, eat our dust!  All hail King Ben!

Kaiser Sousa's picture

Hey Tylers...

how you gonna let "Kujow and La Sangna" call u out on this shit and let it slide?????

just sayin..........