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Contract workers provide a flexible workforce

August 7, 2013 | Posted at 2:26 pm

Contract workers are, by the very nature of their status within a workplace environment, seen more as a temporary solution rather than a full-time answer.

While there is no doubting the skills that these members of the workforce can bring to a company, recent figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics have shown that their numbers continue to grow, with the latest jobs report from the BLS identifying 2.7 million people in July alone who could be considered as non-permanent staff  For some industry analysts, there is a concern that this category of job seekers will continue to grow, with many citing economic uncertainty as one of the reasons why companies are, beefing up their temporary payrolls, according to CNN.

There has also been some speculation that firms are reluctant to increase their full-time staffing requirements as a result of some facets of the Affordable Care Act, although it should be noted that many of these worries are seen to be anecdotal in nature. In fact, the mandate that employers with 50 or more permanent staff members have to provide health insurance has recently been delayed to 2015, leading to a wide-spread belief that there are other underlying reasons for the increase in contract workers in the U.S. job market.

“Employers are even more reluctant than usual to commit to full-time employees,” said Harry Holzer, public policy professor at Georgetown University, according to the news source. “They like the flexibility.”

Flexible workforce
Companies are not alone in appreciating the flexible nature of contract work, with some job seekers preferring to freelance in their chosen industry sector, while others use it as a means of identifying exactly what is available at any given time. However, with the economic downturn reportedly now receding into the distance, there is also some evidence that Americans are looking for more stability in their working life.

According to CNN, 30.1 percent of part-time workers would prefer a full time position, a significant increase from the 21 percent that expressed that view in the 20 years before the so-called Great Recession. Of equal interest is the notion that while temporary work has been traditionally associated with office personnel and the manufacturing industry, this is no longer a situation that no longer apparently rings true in terms of an available contract workforce.

“In our industry, I need to ramp up quickly and then demand fades quickly,” said Tamara Flores, IT director for Florida-based Millennium Technology Group. “Temps allow us to be quite nimble.”