PRO Unlimited Announces Top Market Trends in the White-collar Gig Economy

·4 min read

Contingent hiring returns to growth in Q3, and exceeds pre-COVID in Q4, while full-time employment expects slow recovery

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- PRO Unlimited, a global innovator of contingent workforce management software and services, today announced the top jobs market trends in the skilled, white-collar contingent (i.e. non-employee, contractor, consultant) landscape in 2020 based on year-over-year company data. Utilizing the company's largest client data sets across hundreds of enterprises and thousands of job titles, PRO examined how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted contingent labor hiring across industries, demand in job roles and hot growth markets nationwide.

PRO Unlimited offers solutions for contingent labor management, 1099/co-employment risk management, & third-party payroll for client-sourced contract talent.
PRO Unlimited offers solutions for contingent labor management, 1099/co-employment risk management, & third-party payroll for client-sourced contract talent.

"There's a strategic shift happening where employers competing in a war for skilled specialty talent have accelerated their adoption of contingent labor - and it's not only "gig" app and blue-collar jobs anymore. In fact, 40% of all white-collar workers fall into this category," said Kevin Akeroyd, CEO of PRO Unlimited. "At the same time, business professionals are embracing this type of work. Not only does this new contingent economy offer increased flexibility and high-paying white-collar jobs, but employers benefit from a more diverse talent pool, greater innovation, better fiscal management and much more. By late-2021, we expect over half of skilled workers will be contingent and employers will need to successfully manage this expanding workforce as part of their overall human capital strategy."

Utilizing PRO's deep industry insights and historical client data, the company compared hiring patterns in the contingent industry that occurred as a result of the COVID pandemic to that of the 2008 Great Recession.

Highlights include:

COVID-19 pandemic impacts contingent hiring harder and faster than the 2008 Recession, but it rebounded much more rapidly:

  • While contingent hiring declined 56% in the first half of 2020 – a much larger and faster drop compared to the 2008 Recession – it quickly returned to pre-COVID levels by July and hiring was 9% higher year-over-year by September.

  • Contingent hiring and the economy overall is recovering faster now than it did from the 2008 Recession. Contingent hiring historically recovers quicker than the overall U.S. labor market coming out of recessions.

"The onset of the pandemic in early 2020 and the high amount of uncertainty from an economic perspective sent employers into crisis mode. Many of them announced hiring freezes and layoffs. As such, we saw a decline in contingent hires, but it quickly rebounded and increased higher than pre-pandemic levels. We expect contingent roles will replace many full-time, white-collar jobs going into next year," added Akeroyd.

Demand increased for IT/technology, healthcare and professional services, while manufacturing and industrial positions have dropped significantly

  • The hottest industries for contingent hiring in 2020 were IT/technology, healthcare and professional services. Contingent labor hiring in healthcare was least impacted by COVID.

  • Jobs in IT/technology, healthcare and professional services have increased significantly in demand from 2019 to 2020, while industrial, manufacturing and administrative positions have declined. For example:

White-collar gig workers look for the highest monetary bidder in their job searches, while culture and company values are less of a priority

  • According to a client survey commissioned by PRO among contractors, 40% of respondents say monetary compensation is by far the most valued factor in their job search.

  • Less valued factors include the opportunity to convert to a full-time employee (19%), unique project opportunities or skill-building (14%), and company values/culture (8%).

U.S. cities like Nashville, Charlotte and Indianapolis are emerging as hot growth markets for jobs — in fact, hiring is stronger than it was pre-COVID

  • Salt Lake City, Denver, Austin and Hartford were all cities that were already "anointed" as metros that were poised for growth pre-pandemic. While these cities have not returned to pre-COVID hiring levels, their rate of hiring is remaining steady and showing signs of improvement. Employers are not abandoning hiring from these metros.

  • Nashville, Charlotte and Indianapolis have emerged as strong hiring alternatives as their hiring levels are even stronger now than they were pre-pandemic.

  • In the West, hiring has already returned to higher than pre-pandemic levels, but lower year-over-year.

For more information and to download the PRO Unlimited Labor Market Report, click here.

About PRO Unlimited

PRO Unlimited, through its purely vendor-neutral Managed Services Provider (MSP) and Vendor Management System (VMS) solutions, helps organizations around the world address the costs, risks and quality issues associated with managing a contingent workforce. A pioneer and innovator in the VMS and MSP space, PRO offers solutions for the procurement and management of contingent labor, 1099/co-employment risk management, and third-party payroll. http://www.prounlimited.com

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SOURCE PRO Unlimited