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Competence Centre on Foresight

We foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory culture in the EU policymaking process.

Page | Last updated: 08 Apr 2020

Non-standard forms of employment on the rise

  • Non-standard forms of employment -- e.g., all forms of employment other than a full-time permanent contract -- have increased over the past few decades in both developed and developing countries, and their use become more widespread across economic sectors and occupations. However, for most workers, employment in non-standard forms is not voluntarily and is associated with insecurity, notes ILO.
  • The work relationship is diversifying as workers hold several jobs and multiple income sources at the same time. In France, there are more than 4 million slashers -- 16% of the active population; for 77% of them, the second job being in a different sector than their primary job.
  • Some 20%-30% of working-age population (some 162 million people) in Europe and the USA are engaged in some kind of independent work.
  • Globally, the number of people in vulnerable forms of employment (e.g., self-employed) is rising. The estimated 1.4 billion people in vulnerable forms of employment in 2017 is estimated having increased by 17 million per year in 2018 and 2019. In developing and emerging economies the rates are above 76% and 46% respectively.
  • More than 50% of independent workers in Europe are not covered by unemployment benefits.
  • In the EU27 and the UK, the share of part-time employment in total employment (age group 15-64) went up from 15.6% in 2002 to 19.4% in 2017 while the share of temporary employment grew from 12.4% to 14.3% during the same period.  
  • The proportion of the self-employed working part-time increased in the EU over the past years. The self-employed without employees experienced reduction in worktime, remarks ILO.
  • New forms of employment --e.g., employee sharing, job sharing, interim management, casual work, ICT-based mobile work, voucher-based work, portfolio work, crowd employment, collaborative employment have become increasingly important in Europe since the year 2000 next to part-time and temporary employment.
  • Women are more likely to be solopreneurs than men.
  • Older population keeps active longer (by will or by necessity); over 50% of people 65+ in Germany, Sweden, and UK are earners through some independent work. 

| Related Megatrends: InequalitiesDemographyHealth