Independent Work May Be Inevitable (and More Enjoyable)
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Posted by  in Research + Statistics

Need more proof that the definition of “career” is rapidly changing?

Earlier this week, Harvard Business Review published a fascinating article that speaks to the trend of “independent” workers in the US workforce.  The foundation of the article is based on the 2nd annual “State of Independence in America” report as published by MBO Partners (a provider of independent contractor compliance and engagement solutions).  MBO Partners defines an “independent” worker as an individual working 15+ hours per week whether as a freelancer, contractor, or owner of a micro-business.

A prevailing theme in the article is that independent work may be inevitable, and very likely a self-directed (and potentially more fulfilling) career option, for many USA workers.

The DARTON GROUP team found the following statistics and information to be of special interest.

  • 43 million people, or roughly 35-40% of the private workforce in the US, are currently doing some type of contingent work.
  • Over the next 10 years, this number will grow to 65-70 million people (far ahead of the 1% rate at which the labor force is growing).
  • By removing an estimated 25 million contingent workers who are working part-time and/or who may be potentially “under-employed”, MBO Partners calculates there to be 17 million “independents” in the US workforce.
  • Of those who went “independent” in 2012, 57% chose to do so.
  • Only 13% of those who went “independent” in 2012 intend to go back to “traditional” employment.
  • 58% of boomers (ages 50-66) are choosing independence.

Read the Harvard Business Review article here.

Read the 2nd annual “State of Independence in America” report here.

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