Contingent Workers and Alternative Work Arrangements, 1995-2001

January 2002, Vol. 23, No. 1
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 83 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2002

Download Notes PDF pdf

Executive Summary

Contingent Workers and Alternative Work Arrangements, 1995-2001—According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, in February 2001, between 2.3 and 5.4 million Americans, representing between 1.7 percent and 4.0 percent of the work force, were considered contingent workers (i.e., workers who do not expect their jobs to last). This compares with between 2.7 and 6.0 million Americans, representing between 2.2 percent and 4.9 percent of the work force, in February 1995. The drop in contingent workers coincided with the decline in national unemployment (and the increase in employment) during this period. Workers in alternative work arrangements include independent contractors, on-call workers, temporary help agency workers, and workers provided by contract firms. These workers may be contingent workers but are not necessarily so, because contingent work is defined separately from alternative work arrangements. This article presents data on the characteristics of contingent workers and workers in alternative work arrangements, including data on employee benefits for these types of workers.