INSTITUTE INDEX: The South's reliance on temp workers heightens economic insecurity

The U.S. economy is increasingly dependent on temporary workers — and that dependence is even greater in Southern states, putting economic security at risk. (Photo by Katie Hargrave via Flickr.)

Percent of total U.S. employment accounted for by temp workers in 2015: 2

Last time that percentage was so high: early 1990s

From 2010 to 2015, number of times faster the temporary-help category grew than overall employment: 5

Rank of the South among the U.S. regions with the highest concentration of temp workers: 1

Of the 10 states with the largest share of temp workers, number in the South: 7

Rank of South Carolina among the states with the highest concentration of temp workers: 1

Percent of South Carolina workers who are employed as temps: 4.1

Percent of Tennessee workers who are: 3.9

Of Kentucky workers: 3.6

Alabama workers: 3.5

Number of jobs the U.S. temp sector has shed since December, a trend that some economic experts warn could portend recession: 27,400

Average hourly wage of all private-sector workers: $25.45

Of temp workers: $16.83

Percent of temp workers who say they would prefer a permanent job: 77

Within five years, estimated percent of the U.S. labor force that will be made up of temp workers, independent contractors, the self-employed, part-timers, freelancers and free agents, eliminating labor protections and shifting economic risks on to workers: 40

(Click on figure to go to source.)