For years, freelancers have been an important (and often overlooked) segment of the American workforce. As more and more individuals choose to leave the traditional work environment to go it alone, interest in freelancing has grown.
Upwork and the Freelancers Union teamed up to conduct a survey of more than 7,000 workers in the United States. The survey results confirmed that the number of freelances in America is continuing to increase. Over one third of American workers (nearly 54 million individuals) have done freelance work in the last twelve months.
In this post I’ll take a closer look at results from this survey, which can be found here.
Why Are Americans Interested in Freelancing?
Lack of scheduling flexibility, horrific commutes, and commitment to quality family time are among the multitude of reasons Americans are increasingly choosing to pursue freelance work. Freelancing allows individuals to have greater control over their schedules and the ability to pursue work that they truly care about.
The search for passion and better work life balance seems to be an important factor for many freelancers, as flexibility is often the driving force for leaving traditional employment. Of freelancers who left their traditional roles, more than 60% reported larger earnings through freelance work. The outlook for freelance work is largely positive; 83% of those surveyed felt that their best opportunities are yet to come.
Independent Workers Likely to Vote
With the 2016 election just a year away, the survey included questions about the voting habits of freelance workers. Of the independent workers in the survey, 86 percent responded that they were likely to vote in the coming election. More than half (62%) of freelancers will consider whether or not a candidate supports the interests of independent workers when voting.
What Do You Think?
Why do you choose to hire independent workers or work as a freelancer? Did you make the leap from a more traditional role? What do you enjoy most about the Executive in Sweatpants lifestyle?
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