Study: A majority of the decade's job growth was in temporary jobs
- Economists Lawrence Katz, of Harvard University, and Alan Krueger, at Princeton University, conducted survey research showing that most jobs created since 2005 were temporary, says Quartz.
- The number of Americans doing “alternative work” rose from 10.7% to 15.8% between 2005 and 2015, according to the research. Alternative work, or gig jobs, are temporary jobs that independent contractors, freelancers or temp workers hold.
- Krueger and Katz discovered that 94% of net job growth was in alternative work and that 60% was due to the increase in contract company workers, independent contractors and freelancers. Almost all the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not the nine to five kind, the researchers noted.
Krueger said he was surprised by the research findings, but employers might be less so. Payroll is their biggest expense, and one way they’re reducing it is by hiring independent contractors and other temporary workers, for whom they don’t have to provide healthcare coverage or other perquisites full-time employees receive.
Independent contractors and freelancers might like the flexibility temporary work provides, but “involuntary” part-time workers only take these jobs because they can’t get hired full time. How such a set up will affect employer recruiting plans in the long-run is unknown, but it clearly has garnered attention both good and bad as a way to solve temporary talent crises.