What Do We Know about Contracting Out in the United States?

Matthew Dey, Susan Houseman and Anne Polivka

in Labor in the New Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780226001432
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226001463 | DOI:
What Do We Know about Contracting Out in the United States?

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This chapter focuses on contracting out that occurs within the United states, known as domestic contracting out or outsourcing. A factor for the motivation for domestic outsourcing is stated to be the large role that contract companies, especially temporary help agencies, play in the adjustment to the business cycle. Other reasons for the greater reliance on contracting out include reduction in hiring and recruiting costs and the elimination or reduction of layoffs by client companies, which may reduce companies' unemployment insurance costs or their exposure to unjust dismissal lawsuits. Employment services provide only a partial picture of contracting out, and the information provided by various sources of data on the employment services sector is often inconsistent. The Contingent Worker Supplements (CWS) allow individuals to identify themselves as working for an employer, but questions in the CWS are designed primarily to capture situations in which contract workers work at one client's work site.

Keywords: contracting out; United States; domestic outsourcing; contingent worker supplements; cost control

Chapter.  17267 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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