The Value of Work . . . the Value of Staffing

Everyone who has been in the staffing industry for any period of time has an anecdote about the person who had hit bottom, was given a chance to work, exceeded expectations and literally changed their life. Each participant in the staffing industry instinctively knows that the benefits of employment are good not just for the individual, but for society.

In today’s world, unemployment is to be expected. Each year the US workforce tallies about 50 million job changes. That’s nearly one-third of the number of workers in the U.S. The average worker now has about 13 jobs in a lifetime. The question is: How long does a spell of unemployment have to last? This is where the staffing industry makes its mark. Staffing reduces unemployment by quickly connecting workers with jobs. In doing so, staffing companies make a huge impact not only on their customers, but on employees and their families.

The Meaning Of Work

In the 18th century, French philosopher Voltaire summed up the power of work simply:
“Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.”

Today, that observation still rings true:

  • People who are employed are half as likely to be clinically depressed.
    – American Journal of Community Psychology
  • Compared to the unemployed, half as many full–time workers indicate they are using drugs.
    – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Men with stable employment were only one-third as likely to have recently abused alcohol as those who had lost jobs within the last four years.
    – Professor William Avison, University of Western Ontario
  • Reducing the unemployment rate by 1% will lead to half a million fewer crimes in the United States.
    – Center for Economic Policy Research
  • When people remain employed they are less susceptible to cardiovascular disease and many other illnesses.
    – Yale Medical School Professor, M. Harvey Brenner
  • The employment of a mother with children has been shown to help school age children in their development, maturation, and cognitive functioning.
    – US Dept. of Health and Human Services
  • Children, especially teens, whose parents are employed appear to be at lower risk of emotional and behavioral problems.
    – Professor William Avison, University of Western Ontario

Fyodor Doestoevsky, the 19th Century Russian philosopher and author of Crime and Punishment and Poor Folk pointed out a
terrible truth about unemployment: “Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark raving mad.

But the opposite is true as well. Providing work can dramatically help a person get back on their feet when they are down:

  • In young adults suffering from depression, employment causes high recovery rates.
    – Social Science and Medicine
  • Working is an integral part of treating substance abusers, by increasing self-esteem, individual purpose and structure.
    – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Employment contributed to an 18% reduction in domestic abuse.
    – Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation
  • When welfare reforms focused on finding employment, confirmed cases of child mistreatment fell by over 100,000 between 1993 and 1998.
    – New York Times
  • Parental re–employment reduces children’s behavioral problems, increases positive social behavior and improves a child’s overall health.
    – Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation

Meaningful Work

The good news is that one of the most effective means of helping people work is thriving. The US staffing industry has emerged as a potent force for good and hire over 11 million employees each year. That means one in seven US hires came through staffing companies.

The results are encouraging. Half of temporary workers who remained in the workforce moved on to permanent jobs according to the American Staffing Association survey. According to a 2007 study, their subsequent earnings then were often higher because they gained access to higher wage firms. Further, the higher wages seem to have persisted for up to six years beyond their temporary employment. Indeed, nine out of 10 temporary and contract employees surveyed were satisfied with their staffing firm experience. Staffing makes a difference every day in the lives of temporary employees and their families; not only with income, but with improved mental, physical and social well being. It’s work and it’s meaningful.

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