More Employers Are Relying on Part-Time, Contract Workers

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

The increasing trend to fill jobs with part-time and contract workers worries economists and labor activists.

What do food service, litigation, manufacturing and illustration have in common? They all employ a rising number of part-time or contract employees.

Since the Great Recession, there is a growing trend across many industries in the U.S. to fill open positions with contract employees. According to NBC News, contract workers can reduce costs and provide a flexible labor source for employers.

There are a lot of perverse incentives for employers to use temps,” said Erin Hatton, an assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New York, Buffalo, and author of “The Temp Economy: From Kelly Girls to Permatemps in Postwar America.” For one thing, it’s cheaper. Using temporary labor lets companies avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance, workers’ comp, paid sick leave and the like.”

That’s what worries many economists and labor leaders. Contract workers don’t have job protections or security. Because of that, they typically don’t spend as much, contributing less to the economy than permanent, full-time workers, according to The Associated Press.

“Workers increasingly serve businesses that do not officially ‘employ’ the worker – a distinction that hampers organizing, erodes labor standards and dilutes accountability,” said Catherine Ruckelshaus, general counsel for the National Employment Law Project, which advocates on behalf of low-wage workers.

In the 1980s, contract workers made up just 0.5 percent of jobs in the U.S., a number that’s increased to 2.3 percent in recent years. And economists predict that number to continue to grow. The AP said:

Part-time and contract jobs in the past tended to rise during recessions and recede during recoveries. But maybe no longer: Part-time workers have accounted for more than 10 percent of U.S. job growth in the years since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Meanwhile, union membership has been sliding steadily since the mid-1980s.

A lot of contract jobs are in manufacturing, but the trend has expanded into other types of work. In fact, an attorney struggling to find full-time work recently posted a question on, asking if temporary, contract work was the new norm for litigation. Evan Anderson, managing director of BCG Attorney Search, said:

Contract attorneys can provide low-cost legal services to law firms and in-house practices, offering a win-win scenario for both employer and attorney who are seeking temporary solutions for complementary needs. Contract agencies have been around for years but it has been interesting to note the number of law firms who have begun hiring contact attorneys directly.

Many business leaders embrace the idea of using contract workers, according to the AP.

“Some people don’t want to be a full-time employee. They want contract work,” said Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Still, Josten recognizes that some of them “are hoping the contract work will ultimately lead them into a full-time position.”

What do you think about temporary contract workers becoming a permanent fixture in the U.S.? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to Retire

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,651 more deals!