3.8 percent of workers were contingent in May 2017

June 14, 2018

In May 2017, 5.9 million people, or 3.8 percent of the employed, held contingent jobs. Contingent workers are people who do not expect their jobs to last or who report that their jobs are temporary. In February 2005, the last time the data were collected, contingent workers made up 4.1 percent of employment. In February 1995, the first year these data were collected,  these workers comprised 4.9 percent of employment.

Contingent workers as a percent of total employed
Year Percent of total employed

Feb 1995

4.9%

Feb 1997

4.4

Feb 1999

4.3

Feb 2001

4.0

Feb 2005

4.1

May 2017

3.8

The characteristics of workers in contingent jobs in May 2017 were generally similar to those in prior years. Contingent workers were more than twice as likely as noncontingent workers to be under 25 years old. They were also more likely to work part time.  

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements — May 2017." The measures of contingent work apply only to a person's sole or main job. For more information, see the answers to frequently asked questions.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 3.8 percent of workers were contingent in May 2017 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/3-point-8-percent-of-workers-were-contingent-in-may-2017.htm (visited August 21, 2018).

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