Many dream of taking control of their careers: setting their own hours, choosing their own projects, and calling all the shots. But, according to a new report, an increasing number of people are making their dreams of independence a reality.
The 2012 State of Independence in America report was recently released by MBO Partners, a client of The Zen Media Group, as a follow up to their inaugural 2011 report. This hot new study takes a look at the demographics, attitudes and trends of independent workers in the United States. Below are some of the report’s significant highlights.
- The number of independent workers is growing. This year, there are nearly 17 million independent workers in America, up from 16 million just one year ago. Why is there such a gain in popularity? For some – particularly younger, “Generation Y” workers – the shifting economy the country has faced over the past few years encouraged resilient and industrious workers across the country to shift their own business goals in order to adapt, leading them to striking out on their own as independent workers. For the majority of independent workers, however, their decision was based on allure of the benefits offered by working independently. The ability to be more flexible, finding an enjoyable work/life balance, and simply following a career passion were all listed as powerful motivators for independent workers.
- Considering this, it’s not really a surprise that the number of independent workers in America is forecast to grow significantly. Estimates project that the workforce of independent workers could reach 23 million within the next five years.
- Independent workers are exactly like you – and everyone else. The population working independently is not only growing, but also attracting a wide and varied group of people. In addition to hailing from every geographical region across the country, the gender division is nearly even, with men making up 52% and women accounting for 48%. A wide range of age groups show that age is no barrier, either; Generation X (age 33 to 49) members and Boomers (50 to 66) each represent just over a third of independent workers, and the 21-32 age group is close behind them with 21% of independent workers.
- For the most part, independent workers love their jobs – in fact, they are even happier now than they were a year ago. According to the report, 71% of independent workers said that they are “highly satisfied” with their careers, up from 58% a year ago.
- They also plan to continue to work for themselves. Of the respondents in the study, 75% said they want to keep doing what they’re doing – and 12% said they also plan on growing their business and hiring employees.
To read more about the findings of the study, read the full report here.