There has been some apprehension about the job landscape as it changes into a more flexible, on-demand environment. While some people are worried about job stability and the lack of certain benefits that come from being a freelance or contract worker, we can no longer deny that freelance is the way of the future. Many statistics validate the rise of freelancing. It’s not only growing in the United States, but workers in Europe and India are jumping on the band wagon as well.
Freelancing started picking up steam about two years ago. Nearly 54 million Americans participated in some form of independent work in 2015. That’s more than 33 percent of the entire U.S. workforce and is an increase of 700,000 workers over the previous year. That’s a jump that simply can’t be ignored!
When it comes to age groups, millennials are the most common group pursuing freelancing opportunities. More than one-third of Millennials are independent workers. In fact, 32 percent of Millennials believe they will be working “mainly flexible hours” in the future.
And it isn’t just the US that’s seeing this shift. Independent workers now comprise the fastest growing group in the European Union labor market. This has been mostly fueled by the creation of different online platforms that help freelancer make a sustainable living on “gigs” rather than accepting a traditional standard hourly job. The same applies in India where India’s independent workforce, the second largest in the world at 15 million, fills about 40 percent of the world’s freelance jobs.
The study also found that:
- 80 percent of workers in the gig-economy use social media as a means of finding work.
- About 1 in 12 U.S. households — more than 10 million people — rely on independent work for more than half of their income.
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