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Is the ‘9-5’ job done? US workers look to new ways of working

Ninety-four percent of workers are open to NextGen Work

Research released today by ManpowerGroup reveals a new era of work in which flexibility and balance are in and the traditional ‘9-5 job for life’ is out.  Findings from #GigResponsibly: The Rise of NextGen Work – a global survey of 9,500 people in 12 countries – identifies a shift towards new ways of getting work done, that works for people and business.

ManpowerGroup asked people how they want to work, what motivates them and their views on NextGen Work.  More control over their schedule (42 percent), boosting their bank account (41 percent) and developing new skills (38 percent) are top reasons why NextGen Work – part-time, freelance, contract, temporary or independent contract work – is on the rise.  More than 80 percent of U.S. workers say NextGen Work is a choice, not a last resort, and builds resilience for less predictable futures.

“The U.S. labor market is fundamentally changing. We’re seeing a growing number of people opting for alternative models over traditional roles. They want flexible careers, the opportunity to develop new skills and to be able to blend work and home more easily,” said Becky Frankiewicz, President, ManpowerGroup North America. “At the same time, companies want workforce solutions that find them the best talent when business models and skills needs are changing faster than ever. That’s why NextGen Work is on the rise.”

The vast majority of workers (94 percent), spanning five generations and both genders, are open to NextGen Work for their next or future position, but their motives vary.

  • Men are slightly more likely than women to look for flexibility to spend time with family (32 percent vs 29 percent) and to seek a less stressful environment (30 percent vs 27 percent).
  • Younger Millennials (age 18-24) and Boomers (age 50-65) prioritize the same things: pay (60 percent vs 65 percent) and work/life balance (48 percent vs 64 percent). Engaging in work that is meaningful to them is also a priority for both generations.
  • Conversely, appetite for learning peaks among older millennials and declines with age.

NextGen Work is a global phenomenon. Emerging markets like India and Mexico are leading the way with the greatest openness to freelance, contract, temporary or independent contract work (97 percent), with mature markets – including the U.S. (94 percent), with the UK and Australia  – close behind (90 and 92 percent respectively). GermanyNetherlandsand Japan are more resistant to NextGen Work.

#GigResponsibly: The Rise of NextGen Work highlights how labor market dynamics are shifting rapidly. Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO, spoke at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (4 October 2017) on “The Future of Work: Making Decent Work a Reality.” He talked of the rising global demand for NextGen Work, what workers want, and what business, education and government can do to enable NextGen.

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