We, the freelancers, are the future

Presented here are relevant statistics and observations gleaned from the fourth annual “Freelancing in America” survey, conducted by the Freelancer’s Union. According to the organization, “Freelancing in America” is the largest and most comprehensive measure of independent workers conducted in the 6002 Americans were questioned for the online survey. adults who had engaged in full or part-time freelance work between July 2017 and August 2016. Freelancing was described as temporary, project-based, or contract work carried out at a for-profit, not-for-profit organization, or government agency.

Who we are

36% of the country’s workforce, or 57.3 million of our fellow citizens, participated in the freelance economy in 2017, giving the U.S. $1.4 trillion. economy. According to the survey, 63% of respondents enjoy working independently rather than having to do so out of necessity. Freelancers expressed satisfaction with their work and a 79% preference for freelancing over traditional employment. Our tendency to feel respected, in control, and motivated at work is higher than that of workers in more traditional jobs. The survey designated the following freelance categories:

  • Independent contractors (35%, 19.1 million) — Full-time freelance consultants whose only income is derived from client work
  • Diversified workers (28%, 15.2 million)– Freelancers who regularly do client work, but also perform other part-time work
  • Moonlighters (25%, 13.5 million)– Those who periodically take on freelance projects in addition to their traditional employment
  • Freelance business owners (7%, 3.6 million)– Full-time freelancers who assemble ad hoc teams of freelancing specialists to form a consulting firm, so that more complex and lucrative client work can be performed
  • Temporary workers (7%, 3.6 million)

What we like

The decision to freelance depends on time and money. 60% of independent contractors think having flexibility is a big perk. Additionally, within the first year of freelancing, more than 50% of workers who left full-time employment were able to earn more money than they had in traditional employment. In 2017, 46% of respondents increased their project fees and hourly rates, and 54% said they planned to do the same in 2018.

Serious challenges

Still, freelancers face a financial challenge. The ability to bill enough hours, negotiating reasonable project fees or hourly rates, and receiving timely invoice payments (or full payment) were all mentioned as potential issues by survey participants.

A full-time freelancer works 36 billable hours per week on average. Cash flow is impacted and it may be difficult to meet financial obligations when the billable hourly rate or project fee is deemed insufficient. The survey revealed that debt is also a worrying issue, which is not surprising.

It can be difficult to get health insurance and save money for retirement. Medical and dental insurance are the two issues that full-time freelancers are most concerned about, and 20% of them do not have health insurance.

Shaping the future

The number of independent consultants will only grow as traditional full-time, middle-class paying jobs continue to disappear, making us a rapidly expanding sector of the American workforce. Sadly, neither the special needs of the freelance community nor the potential of our voting bloc are taken into account by our political leaders.

According to the survey, 85% of participants intended to cast a ballot in the 2018 midterm elections. That number, if true, would represent nearly 49 million independent voters, more than enough to have an impact on congressional and governorship races. According to 70% of survey participants, political candidates and representatives should focus on the needs of independent contractors because, despite how wonderful things may be for the select few who command lucrative project fees, we are still quite vulnerable.

No paid sick, vacation, or holiday time is given to freelancers. No retirement or health benefits are co-sponsored for us. Our ability to manage our cash flow and fulfill significant financial obligations can be severely hampered by the feast-or-famine swings in the number of billable hours. The 57.3 million independent consultants in the U.S. S. is in dire need of political activism, support, and representation.

Thanks for reading,


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