That's a lot of money and you can see why corporations are trying to better manage this spend.
SIA is an analyst firm that provides advisory services on contingent staffing and workforce solutions.
Their clients are large corporations that employ contingent workers, staffing firms and tech companies that provide HR and/or contingent workforce related related products and services. They are experts on the use of contingent talent by corporations.
They surveyed 7,700 U.S. workers for this study and found that 29% identified as contingent workers.
They break down this group into the following categories (percentages add to 33.6% due to some workers reporting being in multiple categories):
- Temporary workers assigned through staffing firms, 6.2%
- Human cloud workers, 6.4%
- Independent contractor/self-employed with no employees, 15.5%
- Temporary employees sourced directly without the use of a staffing firm, 3.6%
- Statement-of-work consultants employed by a consulting firm, 1.9%
SIA has a broad definition of gig work that is very similar to one we use. Key quote on their definition from the study article:
The term contingent work and “gig work” are used synonymously by Staffing Industry Analysts instead of a more narrow definition of gig work that includes only limited duration tasks facilitated by an online platform. Staffing Industry Analysts describes the latter as “human cloud workers.” As a note, Staffing Industry Analysts’ definition excludes firms such as Airbnb and Zipcar that are part of the “sharing economy” but not part of the gig economy.
Their human cloud worker estimate, about 2.8 million, is inline with our findings and the findings of other sources.
Their overall estimate of 44 million is also inline with other estimates. It is a bit higher than the estimate of roughly 40 million found in the 2016 MBO Partners State of Independence study but is lower than the 54 million found in last year's Freelancers Union/Upwork study.
The differences between the three studies are mostly due to differing definitions of gig work. Adjusting for these differences, the 3 studies are pretty consistent in their findings.
Access to SIA's full research is not cheap, but they provide several useful free resources.
We regularly read their CWS 3.0 online magazine and are fans of their Staffing Stream blog. Both provide excellent information on how corporations view and use contingent talent as well as general information on the gig economy.