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Business & Economy

New Study Says California Temp Workers More Likely To Be Poor

A new UC Berkeley study says temporary workers in California are more likely to live in poverty than their co-workers.

Miranda Dietz is with the university’s Center for Labor Research and Education. She says “temps” hired through staffing agencies to work in data entry, nursing, accounting and other jobs, earn an average of 18 percent less per hour than their co-workers.

“Temporary workers who have the same sort of observable characteristics…so, you know, two people in the same type of occupation with the same amount of schooling, you know of the same age, were earning so much less just because they were hired through a staffing agency.”

Dietz says temporary workers are twice as likely to receive food stamps and be on Medicaid – the health insurance program for low-income people.

The study recommends closing the wage gap by raising the minimum wage. But business groups argue that would reduce the number of available jobs.