Tempted by Temping – a Third of Temporary Workers are Doing So For the First Time

8th November 2022

  • A third of temps are doing temporary work for the first time, according to new data from Indeed Flex
  • Older workers lead the way, with 41% of those earning exclusively through temporary work aged 50 to 70
  • With official data showing 1.7 million UK workers now do some form of temporary work, Indeed Flex finds the cost of living crisis is the chief reason people choose to temp

London, 8th November 2022 – A third (32%) of Britain’s growing army of temporary workers are temping for the first time, data released by Indeed Flex, the online marketplace for flexible and temporary work, has revealed.

Indeed Flex’s research1 found that almost half (47%) have been temping for less than 12 months and nearly a fifth (18%) began temping under three months ago.

The analysis comes as official data from the ONS showed that 1.7 million Britons were doing some form of temporary work in the three months to the end of August.

The rising cost of living has been a key factor in the surging popularity of temporary and flexible work, with Indeed Flex finding that nearly half (46%) of those who started temping in the past six months did so primarily to boost their income in the face of rising prices. ONS data shows that consumer prices rose by 10.1% in the year to the end of September, with food prices soaring by 14.6% over the same period.

Other common reasons temps give for starting temporary work include topping up income to pay for holidays or Christmas, topping up income while running a small business or just the desire to have more flexibility over the days and hours they work.

While a fifth (19%) of those recently starting temping say they last did similar work when they were a student, the idea of temporary work being the preserve of younger people is changing. In fact older workers now lead the way, with 41% of those exclusively doing temporary work aged 50-70. Those aged 18-30 now account for under a third (29%) of people doing exclusively temporary work.

A quarter (28%) of temporary workers fit temp work shifts around their full-time job, and 11% around a part-time job. Nearly a fifth (17%) fit temporary work around their childcare arrangements, and 8% around education. 6% are retired.

Novo Constare, CEO and Co-founder of Indeed Flex, said:

“This year has seen big expansion in both the numbers – and types – of people drawn to temping. While the desire to top up their income is a common thread for many, the temp workforce is becoming increasingly diverse.

“Temping is more than just an instant and practical way to earn more money – its flexibility enables people to fit shifts around their lifestyle.

“Our research shows that not only are temps fitting jobs around full and part time roles, they are also using it to support the things that really matter to them – from childcare to education, running their own business and even retirement.

“If there’s one thing that our Flexers have in common, it’s that they tend to be highly motivated self-starters, who like to take charge of their own schedule and career.”