Could Temp Solution Signal Jobs Recovery?

Trecia Lorelle is one of the thousands of Americans working a series of temporary jobs to get by in this economy as seen in the Dec. 5, 2009, broadcast of the "Evening News."
Trecia Lorelle is one of the thousands of Americans working a series of temporary jobs to get by in this economy as seen in the Dec. 5, 2009, broadcast of the "Evening News."
CBS

On a visit with her grandparents, Trecia Lorelle is sharing good news about her career track.

An event planner freelancing with a temp agency, she just completed a three-month-long assignment with the State University of New York at Stony Brook and lined up another one this week with Hofstra University, reports CBS News Correspondent Michelle Miller.

"I feel like things are starting to pick up a lot more," Lorelle told Miller.

According to November's jobs report, the number of temp jobs like Lorelle's has risen for the fourth straight month, an indicator the employment outlook may be turning around.

The professional and business services sectors added about 86,000 jobs last month. Fifty-three-thousand of them were temporary workers. That's up 6.7 percent overall.

"Temp work doesn't peak during the recession; temp work usually peaks at the beginning of a recovery," David Wyss, chief economist for Standard & Poor's, told Miller.

"Manufacturing is definitely up, office services is up and health care has been up," Phil Missirlian, CEO of GreyStone Staffing, told Miller.

Missirlian owns a leading temp agency in the New York area and says in the last three months orders for his workers have doubled and 60 percent of them are long term.

"Companies come to a temp agency because they don't want to hire someone permanently in a recession and then find out a week or a month later that they're going to lay them off," Missirlian told Miller/

Take GameStop, the nation's largest video game retailer. It hired 15,000 part-time employees this fall for the holiday season, a 46 percent increase to its overall staffing.

"They like to retain good people, and I'm hoping that come January I'm one of those good people," Tim Norton, a part-time employee at GameStop, told Miller.

But industry analysts are cautiously waiting to see if demand continues past the holiday peak.

With a recommendation letter in hand from Stony Brook, Lorelle believes a full-time opportunity will open up in January.

"I'm going to harass them," Lorelle told Miller

Economists say this could signal two things for our economy: a floor from which the Employment rate can rebound and patience. If this does indicate a recovery, one analyst said, it will be a slow one.

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    Michelle Miller is the co-host of "CBS This Morning: Saturday." As an award-winning correspondent based in New York City, she has reported for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. She joined CBS News in 2004.