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Contract workers may soon outnumber full-time employees

Posted on February 17th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

Various studies have found that companies are hiring more contract workers than ever before, TIME Moneyland reports.

These employees are valuable commodities because businesses are under no obligation to pay their healthcare benefits, offer unemployment insurance or observe collective-bargaining rights. They typically have a unique set of abilities that may be able to fill a niche need for a limited period of time.

According to a recent white paper from consultancy Kelly Services, the number of contract workers in the United States has grown to 44 million, and a similar poll from MBO Partners revealed that number is projected to rise to 70 million by 2020. As a result, America would have a workplace environment with more contract workers than full-time employees, Moneyland reports.

These statistics are not only a result of many companies' hesitation toward full-time hiring because of the recession, but also indicate a shift in people's desire for "more freedom, flexibility and ways to get paid for their professional skills," the source notes.

Furthermore, a recent CareerBuilder report found that the number of freelancers hired in 2012 (36 percent) is up from 2009's 28 percent. 

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