An increasing number of career fields are starting to offer flexible job options, such as telecommuting, freelance, flexible schedule, and part-time roles. The trend reflects advancements in technology as well as economic changes.

The power of temp

“Usually hiring of temporary or part-time workers precedes the hiring of full-time workers,” explains Amar Mann, supervisory economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The number of people working as temporary workers has increased greatly the past couple of years.”

“Usually hiring of temporary or part-time workers precedes the hiring of full-time workers. The number of people working as temporary workers has increased greatly the past couple of years.”

A 2005 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that although more than 1 in 4 workers can work a flexible schedule, only about 1 in 10 is enrolled in a formal program.

If temporary and part-time hiring increases are a good indicator of what will happen with the overall job market, as Mann suggests, then things are looking up.  Professional and business services have been rebounding in the past couple of years.  Temp hiring has been positive and continues to expand, a trend which could bode well for overall hiring,” he says.

Optimistic times

Job seekers have additional reasons to be optimistic. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook published a report in March 2012 profiling the 20 occupations with the highest percentage of change of employment between 2010 and 2020. Some of the industries with projected growth of 40 to 70 percent include: Personal care and home health aides, biomedical engineers, brickmasons and carpenters, veterinary technicians, convention and event planners and diagnostic medical sonographers.