According to a recently released report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), 40% of the U.S. workforce is contingent, up from 30% in 2005.
The GAO's definition of contingent covers the broad category of workers who aren't full-time, permanent employees. The GAO includes the following in their definition:
- Agency temps: (1.3%)
- On-call workers (people called to work when needed (3.5%))
- Contract company workers (3.0%)
- Independent contractors who provide a product or service and find their own customers (12.9%)
- Self-employed workers such as shop and restaurant owners, etc. (3.3%)
- Standard part-time workers (16.2%)
Most interesting from our perspective is this suggests that 19.2% of the workforce is self-employed. I get to this number by adding contract company workers, independent contractors and self-employed from the above list.
The answer to question of where they are is they are here, but they been classified as traditional employees by the BLS.
The GAO report has been getting a lot of press and the articles below cover the report findings in more detail:
As regular readers know, we been saying for years self-employment and contingent work are much more common than the official statistics say. It's nice that the GAO agrees.