This year marks the fifth consecutive year that MBO Partners has conducted our State of Independence in America Report, the full version of which will be released in September. Since we received some top-line data just in time for Independence Day, we thought we would celebrate by sharing a high-level view of what we have learned so far from this year’s study.
As we have seen in the past, and despite the improving full-time employment numbers, non-traditional work arrangements are on the rise as well. This “project economy” is fueled by independent talent: consultants, freelancers, self-employed contractors, etc. With the recession having come to a close, many predicted that this trend would not continue and that independents would be drawn back into their previous employment behaviors. But with 12% growth over the last five years, independent work arrangements certainly appear to have reached a critical mass that doesn’t seem to be losing traction.
Interestingly, it’s not just Uber drivers and Etsy designers who are benefitting from this new type of economy. While much of the national discussion has been focused on the On-Demand Economy (largely powered by what we call “side-giggers”), the number of independents who earn $100,000 or more per year has skyrocketed by 45% over the past five years.
Our research also shows that when people choose to go independent, they stay independent. And they’re not shy when it comes to how happy they are about it. Four out of five independents say they willingly chose self-employment and are happy with their decision. Another 79% say they are happier working as independents than they were in traditional job settings. Whether it is the flexibility, freedom, or the direct sense of success, independents enjoy being self-employed.
These are just a few of the points that will be included in MBO’s 5th Annual State of Independence in America. Be sure to follow us on twitter @MBOPartners for more SOI updates.
The 2018 MBO Partners State of Independence in America Report finds that independent work remains a viable and desirable career path for nearly 42 million Americans.
The report examines how companies should structure policies, procedures, and engagement practices to attract, engage, and re-engage top independent professional talent.