Membership Has its Privileges? Contracting and Access to Jobs that Accommodate Work-Life Needs
Using job-spell data based on an original survey of Information Technology (IT) degree graduates from five U.S. universities, the authors investigate the link between contracting and a set of job characteristics (accommodating flexible work hours, total work hours, and working from home) associated with work-life needs. Compared with regular employees in similar jobs, workers in both independent- and agency-contracting jobs report more often working at home and working fewer hours per week. Further, agency contracting (but not independent contracting) is associated with lower odds of being able to set one’s own work hours. Important differences also emerge in workplaces of varying sizes. For each job characteristic, as workplace size increases, independent contracting jobs deteriorate relative to regular employment jobs. As a consequence, in large workplaces, independent contracting jobs appear to be less accommodating of work-life needs than regular employment jobs.