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Contact: Lisa MacSpadden
The Markle Foundation
New York— A new national survey sponsored and developed by the Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative, the Markle Foundation, Burson-Marsteller and TIME looks at how companies are coping with new employment models such as the growth of contingent and contract work and the On-Demand Economy. The survey was conducted by research firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB).
According to the Workforce of the Future Survey, a majority of all employers, 56 percent, say having a full-time employee makes it easier to accommodate the ebbs and flows in work volume and report that contract workers are less loyal or invested. Conversely, employers cite using independent contractors both for the flexibility of hiring workers with specific skills as the need arises (90 percent), as well as for cost-saving purposes such as taxes and benefits (86 percent). Still, when presented with the tradeoff, most employers (58 percent) say full-time hires are better for their company because they provide more value over the long-term despite having to pay more up-front on taxes and benefits.
The survey is featured now in a story on Time.com. Read the story by TIME San Francisco Bureau Chief Katy Steinmetz.
For this survey, the definition of non-employee contingent workers is those who work for an organization on a non-permanent basis and typically work on a form 1099, as opposed to full time, W2- based employees of an organization. Contract or non-employee contingent workers are also known as freelancers, independent contractors, or temporary contract workers. They do not include workers, part time or full time, who are issued a Form W2. Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) conducted 800 online interviews with employers (i.e., employers or business owners who make hiring decisions for their organization), from June 5-16, 2016.
“More than 80 percent of surveyed employers who use contingent workers do so because it allows them to quickly adjust to changing workforce needs or to hire people with specific in-demand skills,” said Markle CEO and President Zoe Baird. “This makes it all the more important to ensure all workers have the skills they need in today’s ever changing labor market, whether they are full-time employees or contingent workers. A more highly skilled workforce, one that can easily find pathways to train and retrain, is critical to enabling everyone to see themselves in the digital economy.”
“The consensus that held the 20th Century social contract together is coming apart,” said Bruce Reed, co-chair of the Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative. “While companies prefer full-time employees, more and more are using independent contractors to reduce costs, and two-thirds say providing those workers benefits is someone else's responsibility. We need a 21st Century social contract that works for everyone by making it easier for employers to share its responsibilities in investing in workers and easier for all Americans to take more benefits with them from job to job.”
The Workforce of the Future Survey also reveals insights regarding the On-Demand Economy, defined for respondents as an industry that encourages consumers to share the use of goods and services rather than own them individually. Employers are both familiar with (71 percent) and favorable (68 percent) toward the On-Demand Economy, with 35 percent of employers saying they will use and provide more On-Demand Economy services in the next five years.
“This new survey reveals we are at a critical point in the evolution of the modern workforce,” said Donald A. Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller. “We started our research into this trend with the release of The On-Demand Economy Survey earlier this year, and the two surveys taken together demonstrate how the relationship between employers and workers is changing in this new environment.”
Among the survey’s other findings:
While the survey reports clear signs indicating traditional employment is still the most common model governing the workplace, there are definite changes to the traditional model as a result of emerging workplace trends, which will impact the workforce of the future.
From June 5-16, 2016, Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) conducted 800 online interviews with employers (i.e. employers or business owners who make hiring decisions for their organization). The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.46% and larger for subgroups. This survey builds off the November, 2015 On-Demand Economy Survey by Burson-Marsteller, The Aspen Institute and TIME which surveyed 3,000 adult Americans to understand the size and composition of the On-Demand Economy in the United States and to provide insights into trends surrounding the On-Demand Economy and its participants (both workers and users).
About The Aspen Institute and the Future of Work Initiative
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Future of Work Initiative is a nonpartisan effort to identify concrete ways to upgrade the social contract and propose a more inclusive and dynamic model of capitalism in the midst of sweeping changes in the 21st‐century workplace and workforce. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/programs/future-of-work/
About the Markle Foundation
The Markle Foundation works to realize the potential of information technology to address some of the nation’s most challenging issues in national security, health care, and the economy. Markle’s current initiative, Rework America, is focused on accelerating innovations that use the forces of technology and globalization to return opportunities to Americans in today’s rapidly changing digital economy. For more information, visit markle.org and follow us on Twitter @MarkleFdn.
About Time Inc.
Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world's leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 150 million visitors each month, including over 60 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple and Southern Living, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom.
About Penn Schoen Berland
Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group, is a global research-based consultancy specializing in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip corporate, political and entertainment clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in more than 90 countries. The company operates offices around the world, including in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, London, Hamburg, Madrid and Dubai, which are supported by in-house field capabilities and fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB clients need. For more information, please visit www.psbresearch.com.