The Growth, Motivations and Desires of America's Top Performing Independent Talent

MBO has released a new report on high-earning, highly-skilled independent talent, its latest Research Brief in its State of Independence in America series. This report, the only of its kind, highlights the growth, motivations, and desires of this increasingly in-demand segment of the American workforce.

Today, 3.3 million independent workers earn more than $100,000 annually.

Since MBO Partners began tracking the size and makeup of the independent workforce in 2011, this high-earning population has grown more than 70%, and it has become obvious that as enterprises needs for independent talent grow, those with in-demand skills are going and staying independent in larger numbers than their counterparts.

Three trends drive the growth of this population.

A strong economy drives greater demand for skilled independent talent. With U.S. employment growth at an all-time high, companies have embarked on a War for Talent that is unlike any other in our history, particularly in in-demand fields like IT, biotech and marketing. Workers with these skills find that it is often more lucrative to work independently, and companies are willing to pay a premium to engage these workers in strategic projects.

Next, businesses are growing increasingly comfortable—and reliant on—independent talent to fill specific workforce needs. The use of independent talent allows businesses to become more agile, and highly-skilled independents can bring a fresh perspective, flexibility, and a faster pace of innovation to businesses. This, combined with an overall skills shortage, ensures that businesses will continue to seek independent talent in even greater numbers in years to come.

Last, but not least, more and more highly-skilled workers wish to become, and stay, independent. A myriad of factors influence one’s decision to go independent, but an enticing combination of high compensation, work-life balance and the control that independence provides are making it more and more attractive for those with in-demand skills to strike out on their own.

Read on for our deep dive into the world of high-earning independent talent, and stay tuned for more Research Briefs from our State of Independence in America series throughout the remainder of the year.

 

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