This chapter investigates the political, economic, and social dynamics that ¼gured in the emergence of temporary staf¼ng agencies in China in the late 1990s. These agencies experienced tremendous growth, especially in the coastal areas such as the Pearl River Delta and the Pudong Economic Development Zone, because they were seen to help get jobs for the unemployed and realiz­ ing employers’ desire for ‘numeric ½exibility’ in the labor force (Liu 2007; Xue 2007; 2008; Cao 2007a; b; c). This dual role the temporary staf¼ng agencies perform has been especially attractive to government of¼cials who must solve unemployment in their jurisdiction at the same time as they help supply companies with cheap, ½exible labor. The government’s enthusiasm for these agencies led to government setting up its own temporary staf¼ng agencies to dispatch workers laid off in large numbers from state­owned enterprises during the reform initiatives of the 1990s. The chapter argues that temporary staf¼ng agencies are active agents in making labor increasingly ½exible without meaningful protections. It thus questions the long­term viability of attempting to solve unemployment by simply creating more and more pre­ carious jobs for the unemployed.