Why the Independent Workforce is Growing Faster than Overall American Employment

By MBO Partners | September 29, 2015

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Today, MBO Partners released its fifth annual State of Independence in America report.

The good news – and it is mostly good news – is that the independent workforce, now boasting 30.2 million Independents aged 21 and over, continues to grow at a faster pace than overall American employment. These independents work on a full- or part-time basis each week doing work described as everything from freelance to independent consulting.

While the size of the workforce held constant from 2014 to 2015, we’ve noticed many positive shifts in the changes of independents from 2011 to now, even as the economy strengthens and the job market bounds back to pre recession levels.

“The independent workforce is thriving, and we’re predicting that it will expand at more than 5 times the rate of the overall employment growth in the United States in the next five years,” said Gene Zaino, our founder and CEO. “Independent workers are a key driver of the American economy, producing $1.15 trillion in revenues each year, and we expect this number will continue to grow.”

MBO Partners expects the independent workforce to swell to 38 million independent workers by 2020.

Some of the biggest draws to independent work include the freedom, flexibility and purpose that self-employment affords. While money isn’t considered a key factor in most independents decision to go out on their own, it’s also a positive sign that 45% of independent workers report making more money than they would in a traditional job.

In the coming weeks, we’ll give you a deeper dive into some of the key data in the report, including our specific look at those who make more than $100,000 each year in independent work, Millennials, women, and the part-time independent workforce.

In the meantime, we encourage you to read our CEO Gene’s take on the changing independent workforce over on the Huffington Post.

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