Modifications to the needs and desires of the global labor force mean that the demand for flexible employment is growing, but new research from Randstad reveals that availability of flexible work has remained stagnant over the past decade.
Although businesses and the wider economy stand to benefit from the trend, it seems that many employers are failing to adopt these alternative recruitment models. Prevalence in Spain, for example, has fallen from 50.2 per cent in 2000 to 39.9 per cent in 2012.
However, there are indications that companies are more willing to integrate agency workers into their personnel. This could be one of the first steps toward creating a more inclusive and productive labor force.
Agency work plays a vital role in job markets and economies across the globe, and the advantages the approach offers to employers and members of staff alike are increasingly being recognized, with adoption of this strategy being incorporated in more organizational models.
The prevalence of agency workers
A report entitled Flexibility@Work 2013, which was commissioned by world-leading recruitment agency Randstad, reveals that the prevalence of agency workers is increasing across the globe, with the phenomenon making a noticeable and novel impact in certain markets.
While the proportion of agency workers in the labor force increased across the board year-on-year in 2011, many major economies where the trend is established are continuing to recover from a lull motivated by financial crises.
The prevalence of agency workers in the US labor force peaked at 2.2 per cent in 2005 and 2006, but dropped to 1.9 per cent in 2011. However, the figure is unchanged when compared to a decade earlier, evidencing long-term stability.
A similar trend is witnessed in Japan, where the figure reached 2.2 per cent in 2008 and has since fallen to 1.5 per cent. This may seem discouraging, but the proportion was only one per cent ten years before, demonstrating vast growth.
In new and emerging markets, agency work has witnessed significant annual improvements and is starting to shape the business environment and the employment market. In Eastern Europe, the trend was unseen in 2001, but advanced to accommodate 1.1 per cent of jobs in 2011.
Similar progression has been made in South Korea, but the most noteworthy strides have been witnessed in South Africa. Here, the proportion of agency workers on the national labor force rocketed.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor