State of Independence Report : 2018

Research Brief

3 Trends Driving the Growth of Highly-Skilled, High Earning Workers

3 Key Trends

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.


A cyclical trend towards traditional employment suggests that some workers may move in and out of traditional work to gain additional skills, enjoy more financial security, or to gain additional benefits.


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