Number of Part-Time and Contract Workers Rising

May 22, 2014

The number of Americans in temporary jobs is on the rise, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Many of the new jobs that have emerged since the Great Recession are part-time and contract positions. Contract workers range from janitors, security officers and home-care workers to computer programmers and freelance photographers. They do not have the same level of job security as a full-time employee. While contract workers were less than 0.5 percent of U.S. employmees in the 1980s, the number has risen to 2.3 percent today.

During recessions, part-time and contract jobs tend to rise, receding when the economy recovers. But while the recession officially ended in June 2009, part-time workers have been responsible for more than 10 percent of U.S. job growth since then.

Businesses often hire contract workers or freelancers because it is less expensive than hiring a full-time employee. According to analysts, the U.S. will likely see an increase in contract and temporary positions as baby boomers retire. CareerBuilder.com, an online cite that specializes in contract placement, says that 42 percent of employers intend to hire temporary or contract workers as part of their staffing strategy in 2014. That is a 14 percent increase over the last five years.

According to a recent study from the Brookings Institution analyzing the first decade of the twenty-first century, for the first time since World War II, the U.S. economy did not have more payroll jobs at the end of a decade than at the beginning of a decade.

Source: "Temporary jobs on rise in today's shifting economy," Associated Press, May 19, 2014. 

 

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