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What Does the Independent Workforce Look Like?

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How does the independent workforce change the game in America’s economy nowadays?
This powerful workforce is adding $715 billion annually to the economy through their freelance work, according to Freelancers Union.

The traditional 9-to-5 schedule has become a less common job schedule. Professionals have new opportunities, whether these concern work-life balance, flexibility, diversified project-based openings, access to an independent life, financial benefits and so on. Businesses in return, can access talent at the right time for the necessary time frame, and with the right skill sets.

The Infographic below reveals the 56.7 million freelancers in America, divided into 5 categories:

1. Independent Contractors (17.6 millions)
2. Diversified Workers (17.6 million)
3. Moonlighters (14.7 million)
4. Temporary Workers (3.4 million)
5. Freelance Business Owners (3.4 million)

This type of work causes economic changes: where there’s demand, there should be more work. However, there’s a cultural and social shift as well. “With effects on social structures around civil rights, workforce participation, and even democracy itself, so too will this shift to a more independent workforce have major impacts on how Americans conceive of and organize their lives, their communities, and their economic power.” – says the independent study commissioned by Freelancers Union & Upwork.

The US labor market is changing fast. Talent platforms are reducing the costs of finding talent, and they’re not only providing more work to freelancers but also growing economies. By 2025, these online talent platforms could boost global GDP by $2.7 trillion annually, according to a report released by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)

Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force that are driven by flexibility when it comes to when and where to work, and freelancing offers both. That is something we should take in consideration when looking for new talent.

This study from 2018, surveyed more than 6,000 U.S. workers and revealed new findings each year (starting in 2014) that showed us how much Americans spend on freelancing.

Future of jobs Infographic – Industry series – Automotive, Aerospace, Supply Chain & Transport

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Sifting through the huge volume of data that the internet provides can be exhausting. This may be especially true if you are not specialized in a certain field, but your job is tangent on different high-tech fields. So here you have curated findings that you can use as practical information for decision-making whether you are an expert from academia, a businessman, a government official or a proud member of the civil society. The following highlights will provide you with deep granularity for the Automotive, Aerospace, Supply Chain & Transport industry.

As companies in this field plan to adopt new technologies as part of their growth strategy, they find themselves wondering what type of technologies should they choose? While trying to implement new technologies another important stumbling block that these companies encounter is the havoc of disruption they bring about. 

So here are three aspects tackled for you. They will show you how the Automotive, Aerospace, Supply Chain & Transport industries are affected by new technology adoption, they will indicate the barriers there are to the adoption of new technologies, and they will summarize the impact of new technologies on the workforce.

First, let’s look at the way technology adoption can affect the Automotive, Aerospace, Supply Chain & Transport industry. A huge share of survey respondents from the industry indicated that, by 2022, their company was “likely” or “very likely” (on a 5-point scale) to have adopted new technology as part of its growth strategy.

Secondly, if we look at the barriers to adoption of new technologies, we can see the five biggest perceived barriers to the implementation of new technologies across the industry, as ranked by the share of survey respondents. The following graphic will show you which were the obstacles that were selected by the surveyed people that were perceived as impediments to successful new technology adoption faced by their company.

Thirdly we have the expected impact of new technology adoption on the workforce. In the following graphic, you can see the percentages representing the share of survey respondents from the industry who expect their company to have adopted the stated measure(s) over the 2018–2022 period as part of their current growth strategy.

Technological advancements are very likely to present real challenges to existing business models and practices. But hopefully, in the next years, these dynamic changes, whether they are disruptive or constructive will be the exact reason why new opportunities of growth appear.


future of jobs statistics

Future of jobs Statistics

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Technology and impact on the workforce

We have already noticed changes in the workforce due to Automation and Artificial Intelligence.
Business leaders and policymakers can move forward and grow by understanding these shifts that change the fundamental nature of work.

Robert Solow argues in his publication: “A contribution to the theory of economic growth, Quarterly Journal of Economics”, that most of the increases in human living standards come from improved productivity. New technologies and new techniques of production and distribution lead to productivity growth.

So what does advanced technology promise? Higher productivity, which leads to economic growth, safety, reduced human error – as a result of efficiency, and the list can go on.

Does workforce automation result in job losses? The real value is brought by the affirmation: Jobs lost, jobs gained. Automation holds the promise of improving many jobs — and creating new, more satisfying ones. Let’s try and look at the bright side: AI and automation can reduce the workload of repetitive, tiresome tasks, allowing us to focus on the human’s part of work that we need for our brains to work more effectively and creatively.

What do statistics say when it comes to existing work tasks? Let’s take a look at the data below, based on a report that covers 12 industries.

We see a decrease in the number of hours performed by humans during this period of time: 2018 – 2022. This is when machines replace an additional 13% of human work.

Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau argue in an article from SHRM.org that we should: “Start with the work, not the “job” or the technology. Much work will continue to exist as traditional “jobs” in organizations, but automation makes traditional jobs more fluid and an increasing amount of work will occur outside the traditional boundaries of a “job”.”

How did Automation and Artificial Intelligence influence your industry, business, and processes so far? Leave us a comment below.