Sunday, May 29, 2016

Contingtent Workers, Contingent Worker Survey: Update and Resource Links

Contingent Workers in the US Economy

What do the rise in voter anger, flat wage growth, low inflation and high corporate profits all have in common.  They may be caused by the the rapid increase in contingent workers over the past decade.

A recent article in the New York Times on contingent workers carried the shocking headline: "all job created since 2005 were filled by contingent workers."  The source was a new paper by Lawrence Katz and Alan Kruger; two very respected economists. The paper also reports that the number of contingent workers in the economy has gone from 5% to 15% percent of the economy in 10 years.

The census bureau and the bureau of labor statistics have been effective blocked from conducting a survey on Contingent Workers because of funding issues. . The government has not done a survey since 2005.

NY Times -- Upshot:Contractors and Temps behind last 10 years of job growth

Thomas Perez, the current secretary of Labor recently announced that a new CWS would be taken in 2016. Expect the results in 2017.

In the mean time several others have stepped in to fill the gap.

Lawrence Katz and Alan Kruger employed the Rand Corporation to conducted a contingent workers survey on  as part of American Life Panel Data survey. The results formed the basis of their paper.

The survey was conducted in October/November of 2015.  Rand APL CWS survey link.

The "Contingent Worker" economy is also known as the Freelance, 1099, Gig, Uber or Employees without Benefits Economy. The "Sharing" economy was quickly dropped since the workers are forced to shared their pay checks with management.

A couple of background articles on the "Employees without Benefits" economy.

New Republic -- Voters are Angry at 1099 Economy

The rise and nature of alternative work arrangements in the US, 1995-2015


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