Low-Income and Low-Skilled Workers Involvement in Nonstandard Employment. Summing Up


Given the evidence about earnings, job tenure, health insurance coverage, pension benefits, preference for traditional employment, and reasons for working in alternative arrangements, it is clear that the advantages and disadvantages to alternative work vary by work arrangement. Earnings, health coverage, and employer-provided pensions are common among independent contractors and contract workers while many on-call workers and agency temporaries lack these benefits and, on average, have low median earnings. Independent contractors also report preference for their alternative arrangement while on-call workers are split and agency temporaries report strong preference for a traditional arrangement. Finally, agency temporaries cite economic reasons for alternative employment while on-call workers are split and independent contractors cite personal reasons. We can conclude from this that independent contractors and contract workers are much more likely to enter alternative work arrangements willingly and to benefit financially from work more than agency temporaries and somewhat more than on-call workers. The heterogeneity among positions using an alternative work arrangement is reflected in the heterogeneity of the effects on the well-being of the workers.