Low-Income and Low-Skilled Workers Involvement in Nonstandard Employment. Job Quality Outcomes


Another important dimension that we would like to capture is the quality of the jobs that the workers get. We capture one component of this by finding out whether the worker has health insurance a year later, as well as whether the insurance comes from an employer. We find the same general results: the quality of jobs a year later, in general, differs in a systematic way across the comparison groups (worst for the group that were not employed in both months in the initial period; best for those who were employed in nontemporary work in both months, and the rest falling on a natural continuum in between)--and that while workers who took temporary help jobs had better outcomes than those who went to nonemployment, they fared worse relative to those who went into nontemporary help employment. While the at-risk group did worse than the full sample in terms of their job quality outcomes, their gains from temporary work, when they were to be had, were greater in percentage terms, and often even in relative terms than for the full sample.

The second group of rows in Table 4.1 provides more detail. While 57 percent of those workers who were not employed in both initial periods had health insurance a year later (41 percent of at-risk workers), about 14 percent had this provided by the employer. In both this case, and the case where workers had moved from nontemporary employment to nonemployment, however, similar workers who had moved into temporary work did better--almost doubling their chances of getting employer-provided health insurance. In both cases, the effects reflect large effects of temporary work on the probability of employment.

When we turn to comparing outcomes for temporary workers with those who had regular employment rather than temporary help employment in the second month of the initial period, temporary help workers do significantly worse in getting a job with employer-provided health insurance than those who were continuously employed in nontemporary positions (but not those who were not employed in the previous period).