Last Thursday, the average of unemployment insurance claims was the lowest since Nixon was in Office; at least according to one headline. Of course, this is even more outstanding when you consider the fact that the workforce was 40% smaller when Nixon was in office.
So, why should I be concerned over what seems to be such great news?
The reason is that, as of a year ago, 34% of our workforce were freelancers or independent contractors. That's more than 53 million workers in 2014; almost double the 27 million freelancers in 2006 when they represented 18% of a smaller labor force of 151 million workers. And, for sure, the number today is even higher than last year's 34%. But, a critical point point to make is that these workers are not eligible for unemployment compensation whenever their services are no longer needed by a company.
Thus, we would probably have higher unemployment claims today if it weren't for the fact that a full one-third of our workforce is now self-employed.
Sadly, this is a growing trend as companies try to avoid the heavy burden of higher employment costs such as the employer mandate of ObamaCare; higher minimum wages in 29 states than the federal $7.25 an hour; and, Obama's new overtime rule for salaried workers.
It is now estimated that 40% of the workforce will be forced into a role of self-employment by 2020. Not a good thing for the American worker and their families. Thanks to over regulation of businesses, job security is vanishing in this country,.
Jobless claims average hasn’t been this low since Richard Nixon: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/average-jobless-claims-havent-been-this-low-since-richard-nixon-2015-10-01
One in Three U.S. Workers Is A Freelancer: http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2014/09/04/one-in-three-u-s-workers-is-a-freelancer/
40% of America's workforce will be freelancers by 2020: http://qz.com/65279/40-of-americas-workforce-will-be-freelancers-by-2020/
How many freelancers are there? In 2006?: http://freelancersmovement.org/how-many-freelancers-are-there/
Labor Force Size By Year: http://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/laus/us/usadj.htm
State Minimum Wages | 2015 Minimum Wage by State: http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-minimum-wage-chart.aspx
Obama's new overtime rules: How they'd work and who they'd affect: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-obama-overtime-rules-explainer-20150630-htmlstory.html