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Posted by: Doug Henwood | June 7, 2018

Contingency: almost every demographic is down

Someone on Twitter, reacting to my last post on contingent employment, wrote this:

“Contingent workers were more than twice as likely as noncontingent workers to be under age 25.” Profitable corporations are putting lots of young people in incredibly exploitative jobs and making it normal. For the young work is a new hell, and it’s not temporary.

Workers under the age of 25 are less likely to be contingent than they were 22 years ago. Here’s the detail by demographic group.

Contingent workers by demo

The share for workers in the 20–25 age group declined more than the average—especially women. The only groups to see an increase in share were teenage males and, barely, women aged 55–64.

This is not to say that young workers—or any workers except the professional/managerial elite—have a great thing going. But our critique should be about wages, benefits, working conditions, and our savage lack of a basic welfare state, not about “precarity.”

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