Document Type


Publication Date



Richard S. Belous, The Rise of the Contingent Work Force: The Key Challenges and Opportunities, Pension law, Unemployment insurance, Part-time workers, ERISA, Empirical legal studies


Labor and Employment Law


The contingent work force is rising. Policymakers and analysts must respond. These are the central themes of Dr. Belous's paper m this symposium. Twenty-five to thirty percent—his current upper- and lower-bound estimates of the size of the contingent work force—are the basic statistics underpinning his call to arms. Dr. Belous includes in the contingent work force all workers who are temporary, part-time, self-employed, or in business services. The spread comes from different methods of handling double counting. The figures update similar estimates he published in 1989 in his well-known book, The Contingent Economy. Dr. Belous has done a great service in attracting attention to the problems of contingent workers. His estimates are perhaps the statistics most frequently cited by scholars writing in this area. A group of workers comprising 25 to 30% of the work force is worthy of serious attention.

Publication Citation

Published in: Washington and Lee Law Review, vol. 52, no. 3 (1995).