Following up on a post earlier this week about the differences between “covered” and “uncovered” workers when it comes to unemployment insurance and labor market data, CNNMoney.com published a piece that discusses the growing trend of employers opting to hire contract workers.
It’s sometimes beneficial for both sides if employees work on a contract basis — and, of course, it’s much cheaper for businesses.
In 2005, the government estimated that 31% of U.S. workers were already so-called contingent workers. Experts say that number could increase to 40% or more in the next 10 years.
James Stoeckmann, senior practice leader at WorldatWork, a professional association of human resource executives, believes that full-time employees could become the minority of the nation’s workforce within 20 to 30 years, leaving employees without traditional benefits such as health coverage, paid vacations and retirement plans, that most workers take for granted today.
Contract workers, in contrast to full-time employees who receive benefits, are not documented through unemployment insurance and therefore not measured in the Department of Labor’s main source of covered-worker data, QCEW. EMSI, however, captures contract workers and sole proprietors in its complete employment dataset.
We posted this chart earlier, but it’s worth another look. It shows the difference between covered and uncovered workers by industry for the Chicago MSA. As CNN pointed out, the share of uncovered workers is undoubtedly set to rise in coming years.
For a worthwhile analysis of how EMSI data differs from public labor market information, see this Q&A. And as always, please feel free to leave comments or questions below.