The US independent workforce — which includes consultants, freelancers, contractors, temporary and on-call workers — will rise to 47.8 million over the next five years, representing a 2.6% annual growth rate, according to MBO Partners’ new “2018 State of Independence in America report.”
It also found that the total number of independent workers rose 2.2% this year to 41.8 million compared to last year. However, last month, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released a study of the contingent workforce, but its results differed from those of several other surveys conducted by various organizations.
In the MBO report, independent workers generated roughly $1.3 trillion of revenue in 2017. One in five full-time independents are “high-earning independents” who make more than $100,000.
Broad shifts driving this growth include businesses increasingly choosing contingent talent on a project basis; workers wanting autonomy, control and flexibility; workers increasingly needing supplemental work as wages stagnate and costs of living increase; and a growing support structure for independent workers. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act also provides a tax break for independent workers
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