Demand for Temp Labour in Australia Explodes

The Adecco Group Temporary Labour Report 2011 found that the number of temporary employees in Australia has grown dramatically over the last 20 years with just over 400,000 people currently employed on a temporary basis.

The biggest user of temporary labour is the mining sector at 12.7%, followed by finance and insurance at 11.8%, ICT at 11.6% and utilities at 11.5%.

Moreover, temporary employment is a strong favourite at the big end of town with all Top 200 ASX listed companies supplementing their workforce with temporary employees.  In addition, the report found organisations with a thousand or more employees are most likely to use temporary labour (44.8%) and their number one method of finding suitable staff for organisations of all sizes is through recruitment agencies (32%).

The trend to use temporary labour is set to continue with the Report forecasting growth of 6% per annum from June 2012 to 2015 due to a shortage of skilled and semi skilled workers. In fact, organisations already using temporary labour are currently experiencing skill shortages and they expect the situation to worsen.

According to Adecco Group CEO, Jeff Doyle: “It enables companies to adjust their labour supply to meet the peaks and troughs of their business needs and it helps them access a range of specialist skills as and when required. In addition, companies use temporary labour to save costs”.

But it’s not just employers who favour temporary employment. The Adecco study found that employees like temporary work also. One third say it is a stepping stone to full time employment, almost one third like the variety, 27% want to maintain flexibility and 7% like the variety of working on different assignments.

Importantly, most temporary employees enjoy a high level of job satisfaction. Nearly a third say their job is ideal or very close to ideal. Another 40% say that it is reasonably ideal. Only 18% say it is not close to their ideal job at all.
New South Wales has the largest concentration of temporary employees with an above average proportion of temporary jobs at 37%. Victoria also has an above average proportion of 26.7%.

“Surprisingly, Queensland and West Australia have below average proportions, although the continued growth in the mining sector in the West and the re building of disaster ravished Queensland is likely to see this level out over time,” Doyle said.

Machinery operators and drivers make up the largest slice of the temporary labour market (8.5%) followed closely by clerical administrations workers such as contact centre workers (7.9%), professionals (5.8%) and trade workers (4.2%).

“This confirms to us that the range of temporary roles has expanded past the ‘traditional’ blue collar jobs to include professionals and managers from all industry sectors,” noted Doyle.

Almost half, (44%), of all temporary workers search for work on internet job boards. Just over a quarter (26%) contact a recruitment firm, while 11% look to family, friends and business contacts to find work.

Like employers, very few temporary workers use social media to find work.

For further information on the Adecco Group Temporary Labour Report 2011 go to