4 Contingent Workforce Trends to Watch in 2015

2/12/2015  By Jennifer Pasquier 

Temporary Employment in the U.S. saw 6.7% growth year over year between January 2014 and January 2015, according to revised figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

What does this positive growth mean, you ask? Here are 4 contingent workforce trends we'll be watching this year: 

1. Continued usage of independent contractors 
Contingent labor will continue to expand as a percent of the overall workforce, driving increased use of both payrolled workers and independent contractors (ICs). In order to remain competitive, companies will continue to engage ICs to gain access to this pool of talent. At the same time, federal and state agencies will continue to focus on misclassification with Florida and Wisconsin as the latest states to sign the IRS Memorandum of Understanding. 

2. Retiring baby boomers will have a significant impact on the workforce and economy 
More baby boomers (people born between 1946-1964) will reach retirement age and will continue have a significant impact on the workforce and economy over the next 5-15 years, both globally and domestically. The gap between the skills companies need and the skills available in the workforce will continue to widen, and many boomers either (1) still want to work part time, or (2) cannot retire for economic reasons. It will be imperative for companies to find ways to bring boomers back to fill their prior positions, or to train new workers. That said, we expect both companies and retirees to turn to contractor payrolling as a viable solution. 

3. More proposed legislation to increase the limit on H-1B visas 
As another way to slow the skills gap, we will continue to see proposals to increase the limit on H-1B visas. The Immigration Innovation or I-Squared Act, a bill to increase the H-1B visa cap, is currently seen as the most promising immigration legislation in 2015. The bill proposes "market-based H-1B visa limits" that would increase the current cap of 65,000 to between 115,000 and 195,000 visas based on the needs of the market. Also proposed in the I-Squared Act is employment authorization for dependents of H-1b visa holders. 

4. More millennials continue to join the workforce 
We know, the topic of millennials (individuals born after 1980) in the workforce is nothing new, and will continue to be a popular topic as more of them enter the workforce. According to research from the University of North Carolina, 46% of the U.S. workforce will be made up of millennials by 2020. In order to attract and retain millennial workers, companies must understand what's most important to these up-and-coming leaders; training and development, technology-enabled collaboration and work-life balance, among others. 

While not the only trends impacting the contingent workforce, these are a few that we'll be keeping an eye on this year. 

Interested in learning more about these topics and how they impact your organization? Contact us, and stay tuned for more trends and in-depth information on each of these topics in upcoming posts.


Jennifer PasquierJennifer Pasquier

Get to know Jennifer:
Jennifer spends her time at Populus Group on all things digital marketing. She shares our unique culture, the problems we solve for our customers and how we help our employees (both contract and internal) with the outside world via www.populusgroup.com, our blog-The Summit, and our social media pages.

Jennifer loves participating in events for our communities with several organizations that we partner with. Outside of work, she stays very active with her friends and family doing outdoorsy stuff (snowboarding, hiking, swimming, walking her dog Ruby), attending as many Zumba classes as she can, and being a foodie.

Want to talk to Jennifer? jpasquie@populusgroup.com