Professional Employer Organizations: What Are They, Who Uses Them and Why Should We Care?
A growing number of U.S. workers are counted as employees of firms that they do not actually work for. Some of these workers are from temporary help services (THS) agencies and some are leased employees, who are on the payrolls of professional employer organizations (PEOs) but work for PEOs’ client firms. Several studies have looked at firms’ use of THS, but few have examined the use of PEO services. In this article, the authors use data from the U.S. Census Bureau to shed some light on PEOs—how they operate, what types of companies employ them and why.