WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SCORE, – www.score.org – the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, has gathered statistics on the growing freelance economy.
34 percent of the U.S. workforce is freelance
34% of the U.S. workforce (54 million people) now consists of freelance workers – also known as independent contractors, consultants or entrepreneurs – who earn at least some of their income through self-employment. Online talent marketplaces, mobile apps and co-working spaces allow for efficient virtual collaboration. 69% of freelancers feel the internet and social media have expanded networking opportunities.
Freelance worker demographics
The ages of freelance workers vary widely. Of the total freelance population:
- 30% are Millennials (age 21-34)
- 33% are from Generation X (age 35-50)
- 29% are Baby Boomers (age 51-68)
- 8% are seniors (age 69+)
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.
Download this month's SCORE Infographic for more information on the growing freelance economy.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE's 11,000+ volunteer business experts provide free and low-cost small business mentoring, workshops and education to 500,000+ clients in more than 300 chapters. In 2014, SCORE volunteers provided 1.2+ million hours to help create over 45,000 jobs and 55,000 small businesses.
For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800-634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE at www.score.org. Connect with SCORE at www.facebook.com/SCOREMentors and www.twitter.com/SCOREMentors.
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SOURCE SCORE Association