Changes in the Labor Market Leads to Increase in Free Agent Workforce, According to Kelly Services
Changes in the Labor Market Leads to Increase in Free Agent Workforce, According to Kelly Services, Inc.
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) - Searching for employment? You may have to look no further than your laptop. Today, more than four in 10 employees classify themselves as free agents compared to 26 percent in 2008 (the last year the survey was conducted). Free agents are defined as individuals who consult, perform temporary, freelance or contract work, or have their own business.
The findings are part of the Kelly Services® 2011 Free Agent Survey. Kelly Services has been conducting research around the free agent workforce for more than a decade. The most recent survey obtained the views of U.S. adults, ages 18 to 75, active in the nation's workforce.
The 2011 Free Agent survey found that there is a significant rise in the country's free agent workforce. This jump is attributable to several underlying changes, including:
"Today's workforce desire more flexibility and freedom in the way in which they work," said Carl Camden, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kelly Services. "If companies are interested in accessing the best talent and succeeding in this new workforce paradigm, they must be ready and willing to consider a wide array of worker populations."
It is interesting to examine the growth of free agency within each generational group. There is a significant increase in the percentage of employees -- across all generations -- who classify themselves as free agents today compared to 2008. The free agent workstyle has grown most notably among Gen X employees (age 32 - 46), more than doubling since 2008. But among all generations, there exists strong rates of growth across the board.
Nearly 38 percent of Gen X workers today are free agents compared to 18 percent in 2008. Today, free agents comprise 49 percent of all Baby Boomers (age 47 - 65), and 66 percent of all Silent Generation workers (age 66 - 76 ). By comparison, 25 percent of Gen Y (age 18 - 31) workers classify themselves as free agents, an increase from 21 percent in 2008.
"We would expect that as the labor market returns to more stable employment conditions, the proportion of free agents in the U.S. working population will even out at 30 to 35 percent," added Camden.
As a workforce solutions company, Kelly Services keeps a steady pulse on employment dynamics while maintaining an in-depth understanding of work-related trends. To learn more about the free agent workforce, please read the free agent white paper, Free Agents: How "Knowledge Workers" are Redefining the Workplace (http://bit.ly/r9QccY) or our free agent eBook, The Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Free Agents (http://bit.ly/ppSTqv).
If you are a business looking to take advantage of the talent and versatility offered by the free agent workforce, we invite you to attend a free webinar, "The New Workforce: Insights into the Free Agent Workstyle" at 2:00 p.m. ET on September 28, 2011.