Being low-paid male temp probably spells bachelorhood

Being a temp comes with a number of drawbacks: a lack of job security, often low pay — and if you’re a man, anyway, little chance of tying the knot.

So says the latest labor ministry survey, released Wednesday, which found that out of some 700 single, male temporary workers aged 20 to 34 who responded, only 17.2 percent of them got married between 2002 to 2008, while the marriage rate for male regular employees was nearly double that at 32.2 percent, according to the survey.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry sent questionnaires to 33,689 men and women in 2002, of which 82.8 percent responded. The same questionnaires were sent to 16,793 people in 2008, with 91.3 percent responding.

Among the male temps in the 20-34 age group, only 4.8 percent had had children over the six-year period. Their regular-employee counterparts were more than 2 1/2 times more likely to have had kids, with 12.8 percent having done so.

According to the ministry, female temps are much more likely to quit their jobs after having their first child than regular workers. Of the roughly 600 women aged 20 to 34 who responded over the same six-year period, some 75 percent with temporary jobs quit after giving birth, compared with 36.4 percent of women with regular employment.

Among all women respondents, 52.9 percent who gave birth during the period quit their jobs.

Unsurprisingly, firms that provide maternity leave had more luck retaining mothers.

Some 81 percent of the regular workers who kept their jobs after childbirth said their companies offered leave, while only 48 percent of temp workers who kept their jobs said their companies did so, the survey found.

Among all female respondents, 52.8 percent said their companies have a maternity leave system. The gap in maternity leave was particularly wide between temporary and regular employees, with 83.3 percent of regular employees saying they were eligible for time off; among nonregular workers, the figure was only 19.1 percent.