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Atypical work arrangements have long been criticized as offering more precarious and lower paid work than regular open-ended employment. An important British paper by Booth et al. (Economic Journal, Vol. 112 (2002), No. 480, pp. F189–F213) was among the first to recognize such jobs also functioned as a stepping stone to permanent work. This conclusion proved prescient, receiving increased support in Europe. Here, we provide a broadly parallel analysis for the USA, where research has been less targeted on this issue. We report similar findings for temporary workers in the USA as found for fixed-term contract workers in Britain.