As the economy changes, companies continue to go the contingent workforce route to hire skilled workers. I recently read a Forbes article about the US workforce, and learned that 40.4 percent of it is made up of contingent workers. The study was performed by the US Government Accountability Office using Bureau of Labor Statistics data up to 2010. This statistic is shocking for many, but it represents the way the US economy, and in turn the US workforce, are both changing.
This grouping of nontraditional workers includes contract company workers, agency temps, on-call workers, part-time workers, independent contractors who connect directly with hiring companies and self-employed workers. Only 30.6 percent of employees were considered contingent workers in 2005, with the biggest growth coming from part-time workers, who increased 36 percent in five years.
Of this diverse group of professionals, the independent contractors and self-employed workers are considered the core group. Although many consider contingent workers to have less stability in their careers, this core group of individuals tends to be happier, more fulfilled and more skilled in their jobs than the rest of the contingent worker group. These workers often value the flexibility and independence of a gig-related career. Only 7.5 percent of self-employed workers and 9.4 percent of independent contractors would consider a more traditional job. Other types of contingent workers such as on-call (48.3 percent) or part-time workers (59/3 percent) are much more likely to be seeking a traditional full-time job.