Job applicants outside the Staffmark temp agency in Cypress, Calif., in 2005. Temp hiring is usually a harbinger of an improving job market, but some analysts say more employers may be considering temps as a more permanent staffing solution.
While the job market remains sluggish, temporary work is one area that's done very well in the economic recovery. Companies are keeping their temps longer and are even using them to fill professional and high-ranking positions.
The average daily number of temporary workers employed during the first quarter of 2012 was more than 2.5 million. That's up from a low of 2.1 million in early 2009, according to the American Staffing Association.
Ibrahim Ahmad, the son of the owner of the Imperial Bagpipe Manufacturing Co., tests a bagpipe at a factory in Sialkot, Pakistan. The Pakistani city is the largest producer of the instruments most commonly associated with Scotland.
Credit Farooq Naeem / AFP/Getty Images
Naeem Akhbar is chief executive of Halifax and Co., a more than 70-year-old bagpipe manufacturer in Sialkot. Here, he plays the most expensive bagpipe his company produces, which sells for $700 in Pakistan and more than $1,600 in Europe and the U.S.
Credit Mike Shuster / NPR
A lathe operator in the workshop of Halifax and Company turns out wood spindles that will be part of the pipes in toy bagpipes.
Bagpipes and Scotland? Aye, it's a natural association: Played for centuries, the instrument is especially identified with the Scottish military and traditional Scottish dress, tartan kilts and shawls.
But bagpipes and Pakistan? Nae, you say? Think again.
Turns out no place in the world manufactures more bagpipes than Pakistan. And no city in Pakistan makes more of them than Sialkot.
In this image provided by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network, a woman holds a child in front of their destroyed home in Tremseh, Syria, on July 14. The authenticity, content, location and date have not been independently verified.
This image provided by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network shows a destroyed minaret of a mosque in Tremseh, Syria, on July 12. The authenticity, content, location and date have not been independently verified.
At least 100 people were killed earlier this month in a Syrian village called Tremseh. Activists called the deaths a massacre of innocent civilians by government forces, but later reports suggested it was something different. After spending a week with rebel fighters in the country, I discovered some previously untold details about the killings.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued its first stop-sale order in 11 years, saying the magnetic toys called Buckyballs "pose a substantial risk of injury to the public," Reuters is reporting.
The CPSC has been trying to curb injuries with this toy since 2010, when it issued a recall of Buckyballs intended for those 14 years and younger. But those efforts haven't helped, the agency said when it announced that it has filed a complaint seeking to stop the company from selling the product.
I've gotten a lot of email about my interview with Justice Antonin Scalia on Tuesday. People seem to have liked the story because they could see the justice as a human being — combative, funny, engaging and charming.
That's why I and so many other folks always enjoy spending time with him.
So, take this exchange from our interview. Only part of it was in my piece on air, or even the longer piece on the Web.