Summary of Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements

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Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements summary
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American workers provide their skills to employers in a variety of arrangements and on several bases. This official news release of summary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics presents granular-level snapshots of alternative and contingent labor that point to ongoing changes in the US workforce. getAbstract suggests this detailed and analytical assessment of the employment landscape to HR professionals and labor economists.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the US Bureau of Labor Statistics obtains employment data,
  • How many people work on a contingency basis and how many labor in alternative employment situations, and
  • What characteristics describe the contingent and temporary workforces.

About the Author

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the information service and reporting division of the US Department of Labor.



The US Bureau of the Census conducts a monthly Current Population Survey of approximately 60,000 American households about their employment. About 5.9 million individuals – 3.8% of the American labor force – hold contingent jobs; that is, they do not expect their positions to last a year or more. Contingent workers have no implied or specific contracts for their continued employment. People in this group are twice as likely, compared to those with conventional jobs, to be younger than 25. They typically earn less than their counterparts in traditional occupations and are 50% less likely to have employer-provided health insurance and retirement plans. Some 55% report that they would rather be permanently employed. 

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