The rise of Uber, Lyft, Task Rabbit, Elance and other online labor marketplaces, combined with employers’ desire to lower payroll and insurance costs, has driven up the number of people cobbling together a living from freelancing. According to a survey released this week by the Freelancers Union together with freelance platform Elance-oDesk, 53 million Americans, or 34% of the population, qualify as freelancers.
Not all of them make their living exclusively as freelancers. The number includes 14.3 million workers who would be called “moonlighters”—people who have a primary, traditional job that pays benefits, and supplement their income with extra work, like a full-time tech support worker at a corporation who also does consulting with private clients on the side or a web developer who takes on projects for non-profits in the evening.
Of the remaining 38.7 million, 21.1 million are what the survey calls “traditional” freelancers who do temporary work on a project basis. Some 9.3 million have multiple sources of income which can include a part-time job like working 20 hours a week at a dentist’s office…
A pronounced shift toward temporary gigs and unstable positions could become the new normal for this generation as demand for short-term workers rises across the country, according to one of the country’s biggest employment firms.
The latest job figures show the economy unexpectedly shed some 9,400 jobs in June. That leaves the country with some 72,000 jobs created in the past year, an increase of just 0.4 per cent, the lowest year-over-year growth rate since February 2010, when employment growth just started to pick up after the 2008-2009 recession,Statistics Canada said Friday.
Full-time jobs rose 0.2 per cent since last June, while part-time gigs are up one per cent, an indication that employers are preferring less commitment in their hires.
Such a slow growing market, a reflection of insecurity about the global economy, is ripe for an increase in temporary jobs. Demand for temporary workers grew by 15 per cent in the second quarter of the year, compared to the same quarter of 2013, research from Randstad Canada suggests.
Four in ten (41%) British workers plan to work on a temporary basis at some point in their careers, a new study by YouGov and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has found.
The report Flex Appeal, which polled 4,234 British adults, also found that 36% of people had already worked in a temporary role at some point in their career.
The most common forms of temporary work were for agencies (performed by 24% of those surveyed), freelancing (11%) or contracting (10%).
REC chief executive Kevin Green said flexible working is particularly appealing to young people, parents and workers approaching retirement.
He warned that temporary workers should not be looked down upon as second-rate.
“If you talk to people who work this way, they value being able to fit work around their family commitments, can earn more, or are using temporary assignments to pick up specific skills and experience they couldn’t get elsewhere,” Green said.
While there is a good argument here, we believe that contractors, that want to be 100% independent, can actually make a living and provide for their family all the things they need, creating their own career security. And, while there may be some truth to the questionable temp -> hire practices by some companies, it’s unfair to make it a generalized statement.
Unlike TaskRabbit, VouchedIn focuses on the millions of finance, accounting and auditing pros that were laid off during the recession and have few to no restrictions for finding solid temporary work that allows people to make a real career being independent.
It’s time that employers and contractors finally have a Win/Win when it comes to project work!