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The End of Employees

job interview, illustration

Never before have American companies tried so hard to employ so few people. The outsourcing wave that moved apparel-making jobs to China and call-center operations to India is now just as likely to happen inside companies across the U.S. and in almost every industry.

The contractor model is so prevalent that Google parent Alphabet Inc., ranked by Fortune magazine as the best place to work for seven of the past 10 years, has roughly equal numbers of outsourced workers and full-time employees, according to people familiar with the matter.

The shift is radically altering what it means to be a company and a worker. For companies, the biggest allure of replacing employees with contract workers is more control over costs.

For workers, the changes often lead to lower pay. Some economists say the parallel workforce created by the rise of contracting is helping to fuel income inequality between people who do the same jobs.

From The Wall Street Journal
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