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Independent workers up 12% since 2011; number of $100,000-plus earners jumps

The number of full- and part-time independent workers in the US has risen 12% since 2011 to a total of 30.2 million, according to MBO Partners’ fifth annual “State of Independence in America 2015” survey. However, comparing just 2015 and 2014, the number of independent workers held steady.

In addition, the number of full- and part-time independent workers in the US is expected to grow to 37.9 million in 2020.

MBO Partners’ study also found the number of full-time independent workers who earned more than $100,000 per year rose by 45% in 2015 from 2011 to 2.9 million, or 16% of all full-time independent workers.

Independent workers are defined by the report as people 21 years old and older who work for themselves on a regular basis as freelancers, contractors, consultants, temporary and on-call workers and those working on fixed term employment contracts of less than a year. This year’s study is based on a survey of 1,065 residents of the US that was used to size the independent workforce and define interest in becoming an independent worker. The report also includes data from another survey of 1,565 independent workers to measure the characteristics and motivations of independent workers.

Along with growth in the independent workforce, other findings in the report include:

The full survey is available online [1].

MBO Partners provides a business operating system for independent workers. It also provides a freelancer management system.