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Optimism Runs High for the Independent Workforce

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Optimism Runs High for the Independent Workforce

By kmurray, Contributor and Moderator
Published: January 16, 2014

2013 was a good year for independent workers – and the future looks even brighter. Self-described contractors, freelancers, consultants, temps, “solopreneurs,” and microbusiness owners surveyed for MBO’s Third Annual Independent Workforce Report are feeling optimistic about their employment status. Check out these positive figures if you’re thinking about joining their ranks.

Independents have a positive impact on the economy

The MBO study reports a 5% increase in independent workers when compared to 2012 – up to 17.7 million. And with these numbers comes a noteworthy contribution to the economy. Independents generated nearly $1.2 trillion in total income both globally and locally, up a whopping 20% from 2012. They also spent over $150 billion on non-payroll/contractor expenses.

Independents hire other independents

The vast majority of independent workers are “solopreneurs” and don’t have traditional employees, but that doesn’t mean they work alone. Through contract hiring over the past year, 26% of independent workers spent a total of $96 billion to hire the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers.

Independents want to grow their businesses

One in seven independents plan on building a bigger business, which means that close to 2.5 million independent workers will launch businesses that will create additional traditional jobs and ignite even greater economic activity.

Independents are feeling less burdened

As it becomes more conventional to have an independent work style, independents are finding more tools and solutions to overcome challenges they face. Concerns over retirement, project pipelines, benefits, self-marketing and job security all fell slightly from the 2011 base year.

Independents are happy in their work

Job satisfaction remains strong among independent workers, with 64% reporting that they are highly satisfied with their work style. Most plan to continue as independent workers, with 77% saying they will either continue as “solopreneurs” (63%) or grow a larger business (14%).

These independents – representative of all ages, professions, educational levels and geography – are part of a workforce that’s predicted to grow to 24 million workers by 2018. Will you be a part of it?

If you’re thinking about starting your own small business, check out our resources to get you started. SBA is here to help you succeed – so let us know how we can do just that.

Related Resources

About the Author:

Katie Murray

Contributor and Moderator

I am an author and moderator for the the Community. I'll share useful information for your entrepreneurial endeavors and help point you in the right direction to find other resources for your small business needs. Thanks for joining our online community here at!


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More and more people are opting to wear the entreprenial hat. Also, people are retiring early and then enter the entreprenial race. If you have a great idea and are willing to take risks, this is what you should do. It gives you tremendous leeway to explore all your capabilities, contribute to the economy and to the nation, generate employment, do something unique and follow your dreams. Definitely a road to follow!
I definitely agree that independents are happier with their work. I run my own online business and I can't imagine working for someone else now that I've done so well working online. I hope to have a prosperous 2014 and i wish all the readers here the same!
Congratulations on your success & I wish you many more years to come. I am also starting an online business. I will not do any sales just advertisements, but will still have laws and guidelines. What in your opinion would be the most important rule to remember being an online business?
Great Article!! It's no wonder with corporate America today "job security" isn't what it used to be. If fact if you're completely honest, there is no job security in corporate America anymore. Real job security is having your own business and being your own boss. I'm not at all surprised to see more and more people opting out of corporate America as they extract more work from each employee for less money and benefits each year. I beacme an independant business owner over 15 years ago and have had no regrets. Since that point I've had three distinct businesses and the one that has paid me like a corporate executive has been in the direct sales industry. I learned that leverage is the key to generating a significant five figure/month income. Any time you trade your time for money, your income is, by deninition, limited. When you can leverage your time, your income is truly unlimited. Check out my web site to learn more. All the best ot your success, Jackie
Independent workforce has been a major revenue earner under current market scenario. As people are mostly trying to establish themselves with the help of institutes offering loans through various means & it has provided to be blessing in disguise.
With the rise of the internet and the online resources that you can use to start and grow your own business, it is no surprise that many people are turning to becoming independent workers.

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