SIA estimates ‘gig workforce’ at 29% of US workers

29% of all US workers are contingent



Staffing Industry Analysts presented the findings of a research report that shows that 29% of all US workers were contingent workers in 2015.  Staffing Industry Analysts reports:

Contingent workers represented 29% of all US workers last year, or 44 million people, according to new research by Staffing Industry Analysts. And the contingent workers represented $792.4 billion in staffing buyer spend.

Staffing Industry Analysts’ definition of contingent workers includes more than just temporary workers sourced through staffing firms. Of the 29% of US workers identified as contingent workers, they include:

  • Temporary workers assigned through staffing firms, 6.2%
  • Human cloud workers, 6.4%
  • Independent contractor/self-employed with no employees, 15.5%
  • Temporary employees sourced directly without the use of a staffing firm, 3.6%
  • Statement-of-work consultants employed by a consulting firm, 1.9%

The term contingent work and “gig work” are used synonymously by Staffing Industry Analysts instead of a more narrow definition of gig work that includes only limited duration tasks facilitated by an online platform. Staffing Industry Analysts describes the latter as “human cloud workers.” As a note, Staffing Industry Analysts’ definition excludes firms such as Airbnb and Zipcar that are part of the “sharing economy” but not part of the gig economy.

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