Employers to hire more contract workers as economy emerges from pandemic: poll

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Nearly 70 per cent of Canadian employers say they will hire more freelance or contract workers in the next two years.

A new online survey commissioned by human resources firm Ceridian suggests companies are looking to gig workers to pad their labour force in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ceridian spokesman Steve Knox says employers are facing labour challenges as the economy reopens. He says some workers don't want to return to their old jobs at all while others are demanding more work-life balance.

Knox says Canadians are increasingly open to doing contract work. He says some people no longer want to commit to one company for the long haul. Some want to work for a short period, then take time off to travel or care for family.

The poll says 64 per cent of employers think freelance or gig workers will substantially replace full-time workers within the next five years.

Knox says the move to remote work during the pandemic means many employees no longer feel tied to a physical workplace. He says that will make attracting and keeping full-time workers more challenging for employers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2021.