- This year at Google, contract workers outnumbered direct employees for the first time in the company's 20-year history.
- This trend is on the rise as public companies look for ways to trim HR costs or hire in-demand skills in a tight labor market.
- Some 57.3 million Americans, or 36% of the workforce, are now freelancing, reveals a 2017 report by Upwork.
- Workers with jobs in higher wages are more likely to have their services contracted out than jobs associated with lower wages, according to a recent study.
As the gig economy grows, the ratio of contract workers to regular employees in corporate America is shifting. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber and other Silicon Valley tech titans now employ thousands of contract workers to do a host of functions — anything from sales and writing code to managing teams and testing products. This year at Google, contract workers outnumbered direct employees for the first time in the company's 20-year history.
It's not only in Silicon Valley. The trend is on the rise as public companies look for ways to trim HR costs or hire in-demand skills in a tight labor market. The U.S. jobless rate dropped to 3.7 percent in September, the lowest since 1969, down from 3.9 percent in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some 57.3 million Americans, or 36 percent of the workforce, are now freelancing, according to a 2017 report by Upwork. In San Mateo and Santa Clara counties alone, there are an estimated 39,000 workers who are contracted to tech companies, according to one estimate by University of California Santa Cruz researchers.
Spokespersons at Facebook and Alphabet declined to disclose the number of contract workers they employ. A spokesperson at Alphabet cited two main reasons for hiring contract or temporary workers. One reason is when the company doesn't have or want to build out expertise in a particular area such as doctors, food service, customer support or shuttle bus drivers. Another reason is a need for temporary workers when there is a sudden spike in workload or to cover for an employee who is on leave.
"At the end of the day, TVC (temporary, vendor and contractual workers) are an important part of the workforce, but they are not Google employees and not privy to the same confidential company information that full-time Googlers are," the spokesperson said.
"Our vendor workers are valued members of our Facebook community, and we are committed to providing a safe, fair work environment to everyone who helps Facebook bring the world together," said Anthony Harrison, director of media relations at Facebook. Spokespersons at Amazon and Netflix did not respond to requests for comment....MUCH MORE