That was the conclusion of a recently released 1999 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the US Labor Department. The BLS surveyed the 9.3% of workers in alternative work setups in 1999 – down slightly from the 9.8% of workers in 1995.
The sense of professional satisfaction was not uniform across the board, Labor Department economist Marisa DiNatale said in an article published in a BLS magazine. Temps and on-call workers were much less satisfied than contractors were, DiNatale said.
While about 84% of independent contractors said in 1999 they wanted to keep what they had and not go to a traditional setup, fewer than half of on-call workers didn’t want a change.
Among the survey’s other findings:
- Alternative workers tended to work part time; DiNatale said that could be because women working as temps or on-call workers are more likely to have children than women in other work arrangements.
- Temps tended to be young, black or Hispanic, and female. Nearly three-fifths of workers with alternative arrangements were women.
- Male temps tended to be laborers while female temps were mostly in administrative and clerical jobs.
- Independent contractors stayed with a job the longest; 43% had the same job for at least 10 years.
Contractors actually earned more than their traditional counterparts. In the 1999 survey, contractor pay was 19% higher than those in traditional jobs.