The Effect of Temporary Workers on the Job Market

 Photo: Sam Hodgson for NYT

Photo: Sam Hodgson for NYT

The idea that the main growth of the American job market is composed of “gig” jobs – contractors and temporary workers – is troubling in and of itself. However, the added lens of ageism makes this notion more disturbing. By employing short-term workers, businesses are encouraging a culture that cuts out support for employees – especially workers over 45 with more than 10 years of service for their companies, who are exactly the people contracted employees are most likely to replace. This reminds me of a story from January about Disney employees who were laid off for contract employees that they were then asked to train for the jobs they were vacating. While that particular case may not be explicitly related to ageism, I would not be surprised if most layoffs in favor of contracted or temporary employees hurt older workers. Read the full story at The New York Times.