The Rise of NextGen Work
Labor market dynamics are shifting rapidly: populations are aging and skills needs are changing faster than
ever, driven by technological progress and globalization. The gap between the skills people have and those
employers need is widening, polarizing workforces and populations around the world. Companies have to
find talent from new sources and do more to develop and keep their people engaged.
At the same time, what people want is changing. They are working longer, learning more and seeking a better
balance between work and home. Not everyone wants to engage as a full-time employee and organizations
don’t always want that either. The ‘Monday-Friday 9-5 job for life’ has moved on and much of the jobs growth
over the last 10-15 years has occurred in non-traditional, alternative ways of working. While the uberization
of work grabs the headlines, the number of people working in gigs is still only a small part of the labor force.
However, those seeking flexible, non-traditional ways of working are significantly greater. Today more people
than ever want NextGen Work.
People and business want new ways to get work done. It’s time to shift the discussion from regulation and
prevention to action: companies need to better understand how people want to participate and meet them where
they are, with what they want. Flexibility, responsibility and employment security are not mutually exclusive.
Employers need to become builders of talent, not just consumers of work. Individuals must nurture their
learnability and develop in-demand skills today to stay employable for tomorrow. Policy makers need to develop
new ways of providing employment security, enabling individuals to change careers and models of engagement
during the course of their longer careers.
We need to enable NextGen Work. In a world of accelerating change, it will be skills and new ways of working
that will provide career security, opportunity for growth and prosperity for individuals and nations alike.
Jonas Prising, Chairman & CEO, ManpowerGroup
1 Katz and Krueger, “The rise and nature of alternative work arrangements in the United States, 1995–2015,” (March, 2016).
2 Josh Zumbrun, “The Entire Online Gig Economy Might be Mostly Uber,” The Wall Street Journal, (March 28, 2016).
The Rise of NextGen Work|3
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW PEOPLE WANT TO WORK WE SURVEYED
MORE THAN 9,500 PEOPLE IN 12 COUNTRIES3 AND ASKED:
1. A new way of working. 2. A new way of getting work done.
3. Helps people earn more, upskill and achieve One Life that blends work
and home. Examples include part-time, contingent, contract, temporary, freelance,
permalance, independent contractor, on-demand online and platform working.
the desire and ability to learn new skills
to be employable for the long-term
87% of workers would
do NextGen Work in
PEOPLE ARE OPEN
TO NEXTGEN WORK
A NEW WAY OF WORKING:
Today a growing number of people are opting
for alternative models over traditional, full-time,
permanent roles. Part-time, contingent, contract,
temporary, freelance, independent contractor, on-
demand online and platform working are on the rise.4
Businesses and people want choice, fexibility
and alternative ways of working that build
resilience for less predictable futures. Companies
want workforce solutions that fnd them the best
talent when business models and skills needs are
changing faster than ever. People want opportunities
to develop in-demand skills that will keep them
employable for this job and the next, and they want
workstyles that better balance caring responsibilities,
upskilling and reskilling. This is how more people are
choosing to work. This is NextGen Work.
90% of NextGen Workers will
continue to work this way
NEXTGEN WORKERS ENJOY IT
80% say NextGen Work is
about learning and using
NEXTGEN WORK IS ABOUT
81% of NextGen Workers choose it.
Only 19% of NextGen Workers say they
cannot find an alternative
NEXTGEN WORK IS A CHOICE,
NOT A LAST RESORT
3 Respondents were age 18-65 and included full time workers, part time workers, freelancers, staffng agency workers, students, retirees and unemployed.
4 Based on analysis of OECD, “Self-employment rate (indicator)” (2017) and ILOSTAT data.
“Who is looking
out for these
NEXTGEN WORK: A POSITIVE FUTURE
BUILT ON STRONG FOUNDATIONS
Agency work and fexible working have existed for nearly 70 years.
ManpowerGroup has been at the forefront, setting the highest industry
standards and taking on full employer responsibility, HR management, provision
of employment contracts, protection and benefts for millions of people every
year.7 Much can be learned from how those once alternative models have
developed from the post-war era when female talent was at an abundance
and Manpower placed thousands of women (and men) into work. Today
ManpowerGroup fnds meaningful work for over three million people in 80 countries
every year; as an industry that fgure is 50 million.8 In fast-changing labor markets,
with skills needs evolving faster than ever, our value has never been more relevant.
We must continue to ensure the protection of people but not through the
prevention of emerging models of alternative work.
Uber, Lyft, Deliveroo and UpWork fueled the gig economy from
San Fran to Sheffeld, Saudi Arabia to So Paulo, changing
the way we work. The largest, Uber, grew from a start-up to
over one million active drivers in more than 350 cities in just
six years.5 Initially loved by consumers for app-based
convenience and welcomed by workers for promising
greater freedom and on-demand opportunities, these
platforms have impacted traditional labor markets with
a speed most were unprepared for. Political and legislative
hurdles have cost Uber more than $60m in lawsuits since
2009 and created new work for lawyers and policymakers as
far afeld as France, India, U.S. and UK.6 As the gig economy
matures, legal precedences are sought and regulatory reviews
requested. People are asking: “who is looking out for these
individuals”; “are they really as independent as they seem”;
and “who is the employer”.
ON-DEMAND IS IN-DEMAND:
PROTECTION NOT PREVENTION IS THE SOLUTION
5 Mark Harris, “Uber: why the world’s biggest ride-sharing company has no drivers,” The Guardian, (November 16, 2015).
6 Sam Levin, “Uber lawsuits timeline: company ordered to pay out $161.9m since 2009,” The Guardian, (April 13, 2016).
7 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are
We and Where Do We Go from Here,” (2017).
8 World Employment Confederation, Economic Report: 2017 Edition, (2017)
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