Job Market Trends

Last year brought with it big changes that reflect the ever-evolving digital age we live in. Among countless changes that came about, we’ve narrowed it down to the top five trends that made the biggest impact on the job market. Here they are:

More Freelancers

Approximately one-third of the U.S. workforce is now made up of freelancers, which is predicted to increase, with up to half the workforce freelancing by 2020 according to a recent Forbes article. Large corporations like hiring freelance workers because it keeps costs down gives them fast access to skills they don’t currently have on their teams and reduces the risks that typically come with hiring for full-time.

Freelancing is becoming more common because work schedules are increasingly shifting with the expansion of mobile technology and because the workforce increasingly wishes to exert a higher level of control over their careers. Creative and IT jobs are the most common of freelance roles since they currently offer the most flexibility for working outside an office, although freelance work is continuously expanding into other job categories such as finance and HR.

Increase In Part-Time and Contract Work

Much like freelance, temporary and contract roles are also becoming more popular in the workforce. This year, nearly half of employers made plans to hire for contract work, a 40 percent increase from the year before. What motivates a company to hire for a temporary role could be something like having a small project they need completed over a short period of time, so they go for a contractor who is specialized and can get the work done quickly.

Both employers and workers benefit from contract arrangements because it gives the contractor more freedom in their work life and pays them for any work over 40 hours they put in. It saves the employer a lot of time and money they would otherwise spend in bringing on a full-time hire, pay rolling them, and training them if the work is unpredictable or project based.

Flexible Schedules

Another big trend this year has been a significant increase in flexible work schedules, particularly for millennials. For the younger generation, the question is no longer, “how much will you pay me?” but rather, “what are the perks that come with this job?” This includes being able to work from home, determining start and finish times and the amount of paid time off the position gets.

Large corporations like Virgin have adapted by changing their PTO policy to employees taking vacation whenever they want as long as they finish projects on time. This is a trend we see gaining traction in many workplaces, and expect to see more companies adopt policies like this or similar flexible schedule arrangements.

Baby Boomers Retiring

Probably the most impactful trend of 2014, and for several years to come is baby boomers hitting retirement. According to a recent article by The Washington Post, “There were 76 million people born between the years 1946 and 1964. That means that (baby boomers) will retire over a 19-year period. Simple math shows that 76 divided by 19 is 4 million, or almost 11,000 people per day.”

So what does more than 11,000 people retiring each day mean for the job market? In September, the number of hires was up to 5 million, the highest it’s been since December 2007. We can definitely expect to see a shift in workplace dynamics as an older generation bows out and a younger group begins taking more control. According to an article by millennial branding, Millennials will make up to 75 percent of the workforce by 2025.

While companies might suffer big drop-offs in number of workers, they are expected to adapt to a changing workforce. This means adopting new strategies to draw in workers by offering higher benefits and wages, and replacing their need with more machines and smart technology.

Big Data

Big data has become a crucial tool for every company by adding insights into customer behavior and how to better run their businesses. Thanks to web analytics programs like Google Analytics or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, an organization can now refine their marketing strategies to better target their audience and solve core business problems by collecting and analyzing all kinds of raw data, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Web Analyst and Market Research jobs were in-demand this year due to the need for expert help in managing and analyzing the loads of data companies now have.  The U.S. alone is expected to have 1.9 million big data jobs available next year. Data systems are only going to become more crucial for organizations to have in the future, which means these jobs are expected to increase in the next few years.

 

 

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