Day Davis was 90 minutes into the first day of his first job at the Bacardi bottling plant in Jacksonville, Fla. What happened to him is tragic. But beyond that, his story is a wake-up call about the dangers of one of the fastest-growing and most lightly regulated sectors of the U.S. economy: blue-collar temp work.
In March 2014, there were a record 2.8 million temp workers in the U.S. And, as the chart below shows, a big chunk of that growth is from blue-collar jobs. In fact, since the Great Recession, the temp work sector is growing at 9 times the rate of private sector employment.
And here's where the U.S. stands compared to other countries in the OECD in terms of protections for temporary workers. These rankings are based on answer to questions like: Can you pay temporary workers less than full-time employees? How long can you employ a temporary employee before they become, well, not temporary?
The bottom line here is a pretty brazen lack of accountability for one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy, which is a recipe for tragedy for folks like Day Davis and the millions of others who work alongside him.