One of the dramatic changes seen recently in the US economy is the rise of freelance workers.
According to Mashable:
“With the increasing demand has come an ever-advancing army of freelancers that is a little shy of 54 million workers strong — and growing. In 2015, it was estimated that nearly one-third of all U.S. workers had participated in some type of freelance or temporary project. In 2015, it was estimated that nearly one-third of all U.S. workers had participated in some type of freelance or temporary project. By 2020, it is estimated that nearly half of the entire U.S. labor force will be in some type of freelance position or take on side projects that fit the definition of freelance.
While nearly 33% of the current freelance workforce falls into the millennial demographic, the rest are primarily middle-age workers who have discovered the benefits of working for themselves in order to effectively juggle other activities that have proven difficult or stressful in dual-income families.” (http://mashable.com/2016/03/09/age-of-the-freelancer/#koX_Q5E7Daqw)
It is certainly noticeable for analytical jobs as many companies look to outsource to freelancers on smaller projects, and companies for larger projects as many of them don’t have any in house capacity given that the average salary for a Research Analyst is $51,000 (http://www.indeed.com/salary/Research-Analyst.html), the average salary for a Business Analyst is $76,000 (http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=Business+Analyst&l1=)
Below are some interesting stats (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/freelancing-on-the-rise-new-infographic-shows-freelancers-optimistic-as-work-style-becomes-more-common-300221756.html) from Score (http://www.score.org)
Benefits of freelancing
The reported benefits of independent employment revolve around freedom and flexibility. Specifically, freelancers report that:
- 61% like controlling their own schedules
- 58% enjoy the flexibility
- 54% like being their own boss
- 48% like doing what they love
- 38% appreciate the extra income
Challenges of freelancing
Freelancers typically face higher taxes than salaried employees, because they are taxed as both an employee and an employer. Other top challenges that freelancers report include:
- Lack of steady income (50%)
- Trouble finding work (47%)
- Unpredictable payment schedule (31%)
- Uncertainty about what skills are in demand (23%)
- Trouble finding affordable benefits (21%)
In the end, freelancers report an optimistic perspective on the field, with 65% believing that freelancing is more respected now than it was four years ago, and 77% believing that the best days of the freelance job market are still ahead.
According to the infographic below, the age range of freelancers is fairly spread out:
A lot of companies like to use affordable firms like ours as an outsourcing arm to get a team of great research analysts to work on a project by project basis due to the cost savings and the access to a quality team given this freelance economy that benefits both the companies, and individuals. Freelancers also like to work with companies if they have a portfolio of clients, but need assistance, and we always welcome that too.
It will be very interesting to see the evolution of outsourcing and freelance work given the changes in technology and business.
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