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Freelancing Continues to Gain Popularity Among Workforce

Freelancing Continues to Gain Popularity Among Workforce
From Recruiter - December 19, 2016

Freelancing isnt for everybody. There are certain risks and insecurities that come with the lifestyle. For example, building a reliable client base takes a lot of time and hard work; after a few months on their own, many freelancers miss the social interaction of an office environment; and income is sometimes unsteady and unreliable.

But despite all this, the freelance workforce continues to grow.

Thirty-five percent of the American workforce did some type of freelance work last year, and all combined freelancers pulled in more than $1 trillion in income, according to Freelancing in America 2016, a study from online freelancing platform Upwork and the Freelancers Union. Considering the study shows that 81 percent of non-freelancers surveyed are open to trying out freelance work, it seems that those numbers will only go up from here.

Steady Growth Continues

A number of factors arecontributing to the growth of the freelance workforce.

The biggest motivation for professionals becoming freelancers is freedom and flexibility, says Shoshana Deutschkron, senior director of communications at Upwork. People realize that today, thanks to technology, the rigid barriers of traditional cubicle-bound, nine-to-five jobs no longer make sense.

According to Deutschkron, the younger generations are particularly interested in freelancing. As they become the majority of the workforce and their older counterparts retire, freelancing growth will only speed up.

There are currently 55 million Americans who participated in some type of freelancing work last year, up from 53 million freelancers in 2014, Deutschkron says. Much of the best talent will want to be independent, and companies are going to have to adapt their staffing strategies to accommodate this.

This type of growth in the freelance worldhasnt come easy. The business world often resists change, and contract workers have traditionally been viewed as less capable, lazy, or only good for small projects. Fortunately, that perception has shifted in recent years, with 63 percent of freelancers saying that the perception of freelance work is becoming more positive, according to the Upwork report.



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