A woman in a knit dress with flared sleeves works at an early model desktop computer made by Servus, 1970s.

A woman in a knit dress with flared sleeves works at an early model desktop computer made by Servus, 1970s.

Contract work isn’t a passing trend. It’s here to stay. And it’s how 20 percent of employees make a living today. In the next 10 years, some labor economists predict that contract workers will make up the majority of the U.S. workforce.

It’s a change that’s bound to alter the economy, job culture and labor policy in big ways. The NPR series “The Rise Of The Contract Workers” examines who these employees are and how they feel about their work status. Here are some of the findings* from the reporting:

-20 percent of all American workers are contract workers hired to work on a specific project or for a fixed period of time.

-51 percent of contract workers don’t receive benefits from their jobs.

-49 percent of contract workers have income that varies from month to month or seasonally.

-65 percent of contract workers are male and 62 percent are under 45.

-66 percent of part-time workers prefer that kind of schedule.

-56 percent of workers received a raise in the past year.

-84 percent of workers are not worried that they will lose their job in the next year.

-54 percent of workers think it would be difficult to relocate for a better job.

We look at how the gig economy has grown and what the decline of full-time work means for Americans.

*Source: NPR/Marist poll of 1,267 adults conducted Dec. 4-7, 2017. “Workers” includes 794 adults who are employed full or part time or are self-employed. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.

Guests

  • Uri Berliner Senior business editor, NPR; @uberliner
  • Caitlin Pearce Executive director, Freelancers Union; @freelancersu
  • Rich Pearson Senior vice president of marketing, Upwork; @pearsonisms
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown Democrat representing Ohio's 13th district; @SenSherrodBrown

Topics + Tags

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Most Recent Shows