State of Independence Report : 2015

An entire industry is emerging to suppport the needs of independent workers

Four: A Year of Elevated Conflict and Class Action Lawsuits will Increase Focus on Safe Engagement Practices: It starts with recognizing that there is a clear bifurcation of the independent workforce. Proponents of independent work will seek to create a smoother and easier path to self-employment for the skilled and innovative solopreneurs who are self-determined job creators, eager to take on the challenges, responsibilities and rewards that come with working independently. Conversely, the continuing growth of side-giggers and freelance workers who need to take work from on-line marketplace and work platforms to generate income are a magnet for worker's rights activists claiming that these marketplaces are commoditizing labor, driving down wages, and violating almost every aspect of labor law. Expect continued acceleration in controversy and litigation around this new way of work, already evidenced by the hot press around ridesharing start-up Uber's labor disputes and the all-too-public class action wage and hour lawsuits against online freelance marketplaces. As a result, 2015 will be a year that debates a better and safer way for all types of independent work to get done.

"For the past four years, MBO has been citing data to show the very real pivot from a primarily job-oriented workforce to a primarily project-oriented workforce. Calling on our years of research, our on-the-ground expertise, and our rigorous annual analysis, we can predict that pivot will be much more apparent in 2015," says Gene Zaino, President and CEO of MBO Partners. "2015 will be the year of intense focus towards making workforce independence both safer and easier for all. Both individuals and corporations will seek ways to capitalize on self-employment while reducing the risks and burdens. Everyone is done with trying to turn the tide back to a more industrial-era workforce. It's time to get on with planning and building out our self-employed future."


Improving economic conditions no doubt contribute to independent workers' stronger sense of security. But there are several reasons why a growing group of independent workers think independence is becoming less risky and more secure, especially when compared to traditional employment.


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MBO's State of Independence Research is the longest-running and most respected research on the independent workforce. View our previous reports.

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