NEA taking the past into the future

Announcing the completion of the Contingent Employment Study

2022-03-07 5:16 PM | Anonymous

The New England Archivists Inclusion and Diversity Committee is pleased to announce the completion of the Contingent Employment Study and the publication of "Nothing About It Was Better Than a Permanent Job": Report of the New England Archivists Contingent Employment Study Task Force. Read the findings and recommendations in the report here.

This report contains the study’s methodology, results, analysis, and recommendations for how NEA, workers, managers, and administrators can support contingent workers and advocate for sustained change in our field. The results, when taken together with data from NEA’s first Contingent Employment Study in 2016, indicate that contingent employment is still a pervasive force in the archival field that negatively affects the stability and growth of workers, institutions, and the profession. 

Some of the study’s findings include:

  • 35% of survey respondents had been employed for more than 5 years over the course of their career. For nearly 17%, it was more than 8 years.
  • More than half of respondents had landed a noncontingent job at some point in their career, but 40% still ended up contingently employed afterwards.
  • More than half had taken a job outside the archival field because they couldn’t find a job in the field and/or needed the money to make ends meet.
  • 37% had considered leaving the field due to contingent employment, including 40% of new professionals.
  • Half of surveyed job postings were for contingent jobs, and more than 70% of term jobs lasted for a year or less.
  • 25% of survey respondents did not receive any job offers during their most recent job search, and many said that contingent employment was a necessity because they had no other choice.

The Contingent Employment Study Task Force is planning an event to share the results and recommendations with NEA membership in the spring.

Stephanie Bredbenner, Chair, Contingent Employment Study Task Force
Jeanne Lowrey, Chair, Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

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