The Rise of the Flexible Workforce

The change in the economic landscape over the past several years has caused uncertainty about the potential long-lasting effects of the recent downturn. Despite the level of skepticism that remains, companies are beginning to rebuild their workforce. But, how are companies able to restore a workforce that they were forced to quickly downsize only a few years ago?

It’s actually a hiring trend that is quickly becoming standard practice. Companies are shifting toward a more flexible workforce by increasing the number of contingent workers. In fact, over the past 20 years, U.S. companies have migrated away from a rigid labor model as temporary and contract staffing grew more than 200% between 1987 and 2007, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

All signs suggest this trend will continue. As economic indicators turn positive and demand picks up, many companies will opt to utilize temporary workers as they question whether they can or should take on permanent employees in advance of recovering profits.Some government analysts have even projected recently that the number of contingent workers in the U.S. workforce could increase by 40% or more over the next 10 years.