American companies are increasingly filling their talent pools with temps, freelancers, contract workers and consultants. Approximately 12% of all employed people are temp workers.
A survey of economists in May by the Associated Press revealed that three-quarters of them believed that the use of temps and contract workers is a long-term trend. Even when jobs are classified as “temp-to-permanent”, only 27 percent of these assignments actually lead to permanent positions.
A Staffing Industry Analysts survey of companies with upwards of 1,000 employees found that most expect 18 percent of their workforces to be made up of temporary workers.
Online retailers are also actively engaging temp workers. In 2012, employers spent $1 billion hiring temporary workers for short-term projects through online labor exchanges, according to Staffing Industry Analysts. This is 67 percent more than in 2011.
Employment Changes from May 2013 to June 2013
“There’s been a generational shift towards a less committed relationship between the firm and the worker” ~Ethan Harris, global economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.