6 in 10 companies have plans to hire more freelancers in 2014. Companies report that they do so because it gives them the flexibility to rely on different skill sets as their needs change, and using temporary workers also allows them to spend less money on employee expenses.Tech and other knowledge workers are among the most in-demand freelancers, the magazine said, though not all those freelancers are as happy as a buoyant market might make it appear. “Employees who formerly relied on valuable benefits like health insurance are getting the shaft in this economy,” commented one reader. “You can put whatever positive spin you want on these new ‘opportunities,’ but the only people making out are the employers who save substantial sums of money.” Those savings come from benefits including vacations and healthcare, which aren’t provided to contractors. Worse, contractors often compete in literally a global market, where they face others whose wages are much lower than what American workers made as full-time employees. Overall, 10 to 12 percent of American workers have temporary or contract jobs, according to government statistics. “In many cases, employers are not confident to bring in regular, full-time employees because it may hurt the entire firm,” James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News. “This is the most disturbing trend, due to the weak economy,” Sherk said. “It’s an economy and situation where employers aren’t seeing their shelves pick up, so they won’t commit to hiring a full-time employee.” He doesn’t believe hiring is likely to resume until full economic recovery is achieved. Or will it? Might companies decide that hiring contractors at a discount is a more economical way to replace workers cut during the recession?
More Tech Professionals Pushed Into Contracting
Employment isn’t what it used to be, and for many tech workers it may never be again. As America slowly emerges from recession, employment growth isn’t following. Increasingly, workers find themselves with piecemeal employment, no benefits and what appears to be no way back into a full-time job. “Will we all be freelancers soon?” asked a recent headline in U.S. News & World Report. The accompanying story reported how: