Ten interesting facts about the changing workforce

Ten workforce facts

In last week’s blog post, we provided ten interesting statistics and facts about time, and how it affects how we work. As business leaders imposed clock time on the workforce with the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, our obsession with the concept of time – spending it, managing it, squeezing as much efficiency out of it – increased.

This week, we scrutinize how the workforce has evolved over the decades. We no longer have to punch in and out of shifts on the factory floor – increasingly, advanced economies are embracing new ways of working, while people are increasingly seeking more flexibility as technologies empower them to choose when and where they work.

Whether you’re an office-bound employee or always on the go, here are 10 interesting facts and statistics about the evolving workforce.

1. More than 53 million Americans are now doing freelance work, equivalent to 34 percent of the entire workforce.

2. In a recent study on the 1099 economy (people working as contingent workers for ‘on-demand’ companies), the majority (38.7 percent) of on-demand workers are aged between 18-24 years, with Baby Boomers making up a tiny 0.9 percent.

3. The U.S. mobile worker population is predicted to exceed 105 million people by 2020, making up nearly three quarters of the total U.S. workforce. The manufacturing, construction, retail and healthcare industries will experience the fastest growth.

4. Only one-third (32 percent) of U.S. employees are engaged in their jobs, with the majority (50.8 percent) identified as “not engaged”. This percentage reflects very little improvement in employee engagement over the past year.

5. Money only improves employee wellbeing to a certain point. Experiencing significant amounts of happiness or stress on any given day improves with income, but only up to an annual household income of about $75,000, regardless of geographic location.

6. Global workers can expect to see real wage increases of 2.5 percent this year – the higher in three years. Decent pay increases, coupled with extremely low inflation, mean that the outlook is positive for workers.

7. More than half (60 percent) of telecommuters are men. The typical telecommuter is 49 years old, a college graduate, who earns about $58,000 a year and belongs to a company with more than 100 employees.

8. Over 60 percent of Millennials expect to quit their current jobs by 2020. This generation is driven by strong values at all stage of their careers – they are interested in working for organizations that have a purpose beyond profit, and to provide opportunities to develop leadership skills.

9. U.S. manufacturers are facing a skills gap crisis – there will be approximately two million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025, thanks largely to accelerating retirement rates of current workers and an expected expansion of manufacturing in the next several years.

10. Not surprisingly, healthcare and tech are among the fastest-growing sectors of the US economy – registered nurses, general and operations managers and software applications developers respectively are the three most in demand jobs.

For further insights on the future of work, check out our 2016 predictions here.

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Lisette Paras
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