EPI: ‘Nonstandard’ Work Arrangements and Older Americans, 2005–2017

Labor News

Reprinted from The Economic Policy Institute by Eileen AppelbaumArne Kalleberg, and Hye Jin Rho on February 28, 2019.

Nonstandard or alternative employment relations refer to employment by a temporary help agency or contract company or as an on-call worker or day laborer. We refer to these nonstandard employment relations (which involve an employer and employee) and independent contracting collectively as nonstandard or alternative work arrangements in this report. Contingent workers are workers who do not expect their job to last or who report that their jobs are temporary. Contingent workers and workers in alternative work arrangements are measured separately. Both have become increasingly prominent in theoretical and policy thinking about how employment has changed in recent years in the United States and other postindustrial countries. …

  • Older workers are more likely to be independent contractors than any other age group in both 2005 and 2017. However, the share of all older workers who are independent contractors declined from 10.8 percent of those ages 55–64 and 18.3 percent of those ages 65+ in 2005, to 9.3 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively, in 2017.
  • Among independent contractors, the share who were ages 55–64 increased from 18.8 percent to 22.9 percent; for those ages 65+, the share increased from 8.5 percent to 14.1 percent. In other words, 37 percent of independent contractors were older workers in 2017, up almost 10 percentage points since 2005. …

EPI 2/28

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About Jeffrey Burman 5240 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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