From the Wires
Growing Independent Workforce Driven by Desire, Not Economic Hardship
OnForce Q4 Confidence Index Uncovers Interesting IT Field Service Trends As Economic Outlook Improves
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 13, 2012 12:47 PM
BOSTON, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of independent contractors across North America is on the rise. While it's reasonable to suspect the economy has played a leading role, a new study released by OnForce paints a very different picture – at least among independent IT contractors.
Of the hundreds of IT field service technicians surveyed last month:
"These findings highlight the changing workforce dynamic in field service brought about by the volatile global economy," said Sumair Dutta, Vice President and Principal Analyst of service management at Aberdeen. "As the economy rebounds – it'll be interesting to see if the rate of growth among independent workers rises or falls – and if any direct correlations can be drawn, particularly as they relate to Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers."
OnForce's quarterly Confidence Index found that nearly half of those surveyed have seen a decline in business over the past four years. Regardless, 56 percent wouldn't consider working for someone else even if they were offered comparable salary and benefits.
Healthcare coverage is a top concern among these entrepreneurs, with 43 percent of those surveyed reporting they don't have or offer healthcare coverage. In fact, our study found that 12 percent expect to drop coverage if costs rise with the Affordable Care Act.
"Healthcare coverage is one of the biggest incentives for having an employer, but a recent study by Deloitte found that nine percent of employers plan to drop healthcare coverage when the new laws kick in," said Peter Cannone, CEO of OnForce. "Scaled back benefits, coupled with a natural desire for autonomy, authority and increased flexibility, is weakening the employer/employee relationship – resulting in an increasingly independent workforce."
According to a recent MBO study, there are nearly 17 million independent workers in the U.S. today – a population that's expected to grow to 50 percent of the American workforce by 2020. Of the 1,800 individuals surveyed by MBO, 57 percent actively chose to become independent contractors, echoing OnForce's findings – and confirming this trend beyond the IT sector.
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