Tags: Self | Employed | Work | jobs

Report: 'Self-Employed' Work Status Becomes New Norm for Millions

Thursday, 28 Jun 2012 08:29 AM

Fed up with fruitless job searches, millions of Americans are seeking work here and there on their own, amassing into an army of "self-employed" workers that is fast becoming new norm for the U.S. labor market.

By some estimates, some 16 million "career independent workers" are out there earning their keep, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Greater flexibility, better technology and an unwillingness among corporations to avoid hiring full-time employees amid such uncertain times are fueling the trend.

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"Executives want to be able to ratchet [operations] up and down" in step with "real-time changes in the economy," says Carl Camden, president and chief executive officer of Kelly Services, a large temporary staffing company based in Troy, Michigan, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Roughly 44 percent of U.S. workers are already "free agents" Camden says, estimating that figure to rise to 50 percent of the workforce by the end of the decade.

Information Technology especially is facilitating the trend.

"Technology has accelerated people's ability to work independently," says Gene Zaino, CEO of MBO Partners, a provider of back-office support to independent consultants, the Monitor adds.

The U.S. economy officially added a net 69,000 jobs in May.

By comparison, January and February added 275,000 and 259,000 net jobs, respectively.

Weak jobs numbers don't bode well for President Barack Obama.

"Historically, presidents don't usually get re-elected when the economy is performing as sluggishly as it is now," says Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, according to Reuters.

"Many people out there, if you asked them in surveys, they'd say they still view the economy as being in recession."

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