With unemployment down, benefit-free contract working is becoming the new norm.
Missing from all the chatter about jobs, jobs, jobs is this: we’re becoming a nation of freelancers. The US is no longer an industrial-based society where you can count on having a job for life and a sparkly new watch at your retirement party. (And forget about that pension.) According to the Freelancers Union, one in three workers are now toiling as freelancers, temps, “permalancers”, perma-temps, contractors, contingent workers, etc. That amounts to some 42 million freelancers in the US – people who are working without the benefit of employer-sponsored health insurance, 401k plans and flexible spending accounts.
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