Some observers have attributed the dramatic growth in temporary employment that occurred in the United States during the 1980s to increased participation in the workforce by certain groups, such as first-time or reentering workers, who supposedly prefer such arrangements. However, statistical analyses reveal that demographic changes in the workforce did not correlate with variations in the total number of temporary workers. Instead, these analyses suggest that factors affecting employers account for the rise in temporary employment. One factor is product demand: temporary employment is favored by employers who are adapting to fluctuating demand for products while at the same time seeking to reduce overall labor costs. Another factor is labor's reduced bargaining strength, which allows employers more control over the terms of employment. Given the analyses, which reveal that growth in temporary employment now far exceeds the level explainable by recent workforce entry rates of groups said to prefer temporary jobs, firms should be discouraged from creating excessive numbers of temporary positions. Government policymakers should consider mandating benefit coverage for temporary employees, promoting pay equity between temporary and permanent workers, assisting labor unions in organizing temporary workers, and encouraging firms to assign temporary jobs primarily to employees who explicitly indicate that preference.

The first sentence in the passage suggests that the "observers" mentioned in the highlighted text would be most likely to predict which of the following?

That the number of new temporary positions would decline as fewer workers who preferred temporary employment entered the workforce

That the total number of temporary positions would increase as fewer workers were able to find permanent positions

That employers would have less control over the terms of workers' employment as workers increased their bargaining strength

That more workers would be hired for temporary positions as product demand increased

That the number of workers taking temporary positions would increase as more workers in any given demographic group entered the workforce


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