SOURCE: Kelly Services

Kelly Services

May 05, 2010 15:56 ET

A New Generation of Business Entrepreneurs Emerges From the Economic Recession, According to Kelly® Workforce Survey

TROY, MI--(Marketwire - May 5, 2010) -  The United States is leading the world in the growth of independent, self-employed workers who have reinvented themselves as entrepreneurs in the wake of the economic recession, according to the latest survey from workforce solutions leader Kelly Services (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB).

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 134,000 people, including almost 13,000 in the United States.

The survey finds that more than a third (34 percent) of respondents describe themselves as 'free agents' -- those who freelance, consult, or work as independent contractors -- the highest of any country in the survey.

The survey also finds that almost one-in-five plan to start their own business, with Gen Y (aged 18-29) leading the trend, well ahead of Gen X (aged 30-47) and the baby boomer (aged 48-65) generation.

Kelly Services Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Webster says, "Employees have been affected by a severe economic shakeout and many are determined to embark on a course that gives them greater control over their careers and their economic prosperity."

Results of the survey in the United States reveal:

  • The largest concentration of self-employed or free agents is in Hartford, Connecticut (52 percent), Baton Rouge, Louisiana (50 percent), Delaware City, Delaware (46 percent), Boston, Massachusetts (45 percent), and Orlando, Florida, and Salt Lake City, Utah (both 44 percent).
  • 38 percent of baby boomers describe themselves as free agents compared with 33 percent of Gen X and 32 percent of Gen Y.
  • The main factor preventing Americans from becoming free agents is uncertainty about income, cited by 52 percent, followed by the availability/cost of healthcare (16 percent), lack of support (11 percent) and risk of failure (10 percent).
  • 60 percent of baby boomers say they are confident that their individual skills will enable them to operate independently, compared with 53 percent of Gen X and 43 percent of Gen Y.
  • Across all generations, almost 30 percent believe the market demand for their skills or experience will remain strong over the coming year.
  • More than half of baby boomers (52 percent) say they have the skills to start a business, compared with 49 percent of Gen X and 37 percent of Gen Y. But more Gen Y (26 percent) actually intend to start a business, compared with 20 percent of Gen X and 12 percent of baby boomers.

Industries where the shift to self-employment has been most notable include Education, IT, Science/Pharmaceutical, and Business Services.

"We are seeing a new mindset among many workers who do not share the same concerns about job security as their parents, nor do they place such high value on lifelong career, or attachment to an individual employer," says Webster.

About the Kelly Global Workforce Index
The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Approximately 134,000 people from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific responded to the 2010 survey with results published on a quarterly basis. In 2009, Kelly Services was the recipient of a MarCom Gold Award for the Kelly Global Workforce Index in the Research/Study category.

About Kelly Services
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to 480,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2009 was $4.3 billion. Visit

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