SOURCE: Kelly Services

Kelly Services

February 28, 2017 07:30 ET

Labor Policy Forum Addresses Gig Workers' Needs

TROY, MI--(Marketwired - February 28, 2017) -

Note to Editors: The Policy Forum will livestream on Kelly Services' Facebook page beginning at 8:45 a.m. ET

Today, one out of three U.S. workers is engaged in the "gig" economy. They range from app developers, to dog walkers, to research scientists, to freelance writers, but all have one thing in common -- they are struggling with an outdated social contract that often denies them the safety net of benefits that are afforded to traditional workers.

To raise awareness about the needs of this growing, diverse group that plays such an important role in the currently changing workforce, Kelly Services® (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) is bringing together policymakers, business leaders, economists, labor force experts and others for a policy forum today in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by The Conference Board, the forum, titled "Advancing the Social Contract for Gig Economy Workers," will explore solutions to the key challenges facing workers in the gig economy. The key objective is to set an actionable agenda for providing these workers access to benefits such as subsidized health insurance, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation for injuries, and retirement planning.

"The implications for our economy are too big to ignore," said Carl T. Camden, president and chief executive officer of Kelly Services. "According to our current research, 33% of the entire U.S. workforce is comprised of gig workers or free agents. That's 50 million people working without a safety net. The benefits available to them are inadequate, especially when compared to the benefits that traditional workers receive from their employers. With the number of gig workers and free agents expected to grow, it's time to do what's needed to drive meaningful change and create access to benefits they have long been denied."

Camden cited the following insights on free agents resulting from research and analysis conducted by Kelly Services earlier this year:

  • Nearly half (47%) of free agents feel "unprotected" without a safety net of traditional employment benefits.
  • 59% of free agents believe the current protections for free agents are inadequate.
  • 75% of free agents are interested in providing financial support for candidates and legislators favoring policies that provide better safety nets to free agents.
  • 52% of free agents are concerned about the availability of health insurance, while 50% are anxious about the availability of retirement funding.
  • While fewer than 30% of traditional workers say they would consider working as a free agent in the future, that number jumps to 47% if benefits were made available.

"Stable health and retirement benefits are essential for expanding the success of alternative ways of working in the labor market," Camden said. "All stakeholders -- including businesses, workers and government officials -- have just begun to grapple with the challenge of creating an economy that provides both workers and businesses greater flexibility, without sacrificing the benefits both have derived from traditional employee-employer relationships. The policy forum is intended to advance that effort by considering workable solutions to these pressing challenges in the gig economy."

Featured speakers and panelists at the forum include:

For more information about the forum, please visit gigeconomyvoice.com.

Kelly Services, Inc.

As a global leader in providing workforce solutions, Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct-hire basis. Kelly® directly employs nearly 500,000 people around the world in addition to having a role in connecting thousands more with work through its global network of talent suppliers and partners. Revenue in 2016 was $5.3 billion. Visit kellyservices.com and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter.

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