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Optimism Runs High for the Independent Workforce

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 SBA.gov 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 SBA.gov!