from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person who works on a long-term basis without being treated as a permanent employee, especially one who agrees to a series of temporary contracts lacking the benefits of permanent employees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An employee whose official status is of a temporary, despite serving his or her function for sufficient time to be contracted as permanent.


perma(nent) + temp.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Blend of permanent and temp (Wiktionary)


  • Psychologically, this "life of minus," as he calls it, is sapping the spirit of youth stuck in "permatemp" (permanently temporary) jobs, who expect to be poorer than their parents and grandparents.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Maybe you need to work a soul-crushing permatemp call center or cube farm job somewhere so you can get some perspective and realize that being a college professor is not like breaking rocks for a living.

    Matthew Yglesias » Visas for Grads

  • Now grads are lucky to find permatemp positions in fading industries or to serve internships that are short on training and long on fetching and filing.

    Why Your Cubicle Moonlights as a Therapist’s Couch

  • When they lost the permatemp lawsuit, they created and enforcement a 12 month policy. Stories / Popular

  • Fred, first of all, someone with a PhD isn’t choosing between “tenure track faculty position” and “sales job” or “permatemp.”

    Matthew Yglesias » Visas for Grads

  • an inquiry on NPR's Facebook page seeking those who have chosen the permatemp work style and were willing to be interviewed.

    NPR Topics: News


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