Low-Income and Low-Skilled Workers Involvement in Nonstandard Employment. Where Do We Go From Here?


Just as the main constraints that have been faced in this study have been due to data problems, the main suggestions for future work center around exploiting new and different data sources to analyze the research question. The ideal data source would consist of CPS-quality measures of alternative work arrangements in a relatively large survey dataset that could be linked with long and detailed work histories. This would enable the complex definitions of alternative work arrangements to be examined together with adequate work history controls and varied outcome measures. Such a dataset is currently being developed at the Census Bureau, and if further research were warranted, the next steps could include the following:

  • Construction of better quality work histories to structure better comparison groups.
  • Inclusion of macroeconomic variables to capture the effect of economic changes on temporary help employment.
  • An analysis of the sensitivity of the results to the definition of alternative worker and of at-risk individual.
  • An investigation into the reasons for the marked differences in employment growth in temporary help services in establishment and household surveys.
  • An investigation into the types of firms that hire at-risk workers and the impact of the firm on worker outcomes.


60.  This is confirmed by the distribution of temporary workers in our sample (see Table A.1). Roughly, two-thirds of at-risk temporary work spells were preceded by nonemployment and one third by employment.