According to a new report by MBO Partners, Americans are increasingly committed to blazing their own career paths and these independent contractors and freelance workers are finding greater satisfaction in their career choices than their full-time and corporate counterparts.
Eighty-six percent of independent contractors surveyed in the second annual State of Independence in America study indicated they are “highly satisfied” with their independent contractor situations. Seventy-one percent said they are “highly satisfied”, while only nine percent expressed dissatisfaction with their current freelance situations.
In the initial study released in 2011, 79 percent of independent contract workers surveyed indicated they were satisfied.
The vast majority of participants in the study said that their new independent careers were a matter of choice, not necessity arising from a job loss or inability to find a job. Fifty-four percent said that they had felt worried and anxious about their job security prior to going independent.
Of the estimated 16.9 million independent contract workers in the country, 36 percent are Baby Boomers between the ages of fifty and sixty-two, and two-thirds of these workers are married. They also reported having the greatest job satisfaction. Eighty percent of Boomers said they do not intend to return to full time employment.
Overall, 75 percent of all independent contractors surveyed said they intend to remain independent. Twelve percent said they plan to build their own business. Of these, 10 percent say they plan to hire other independents or traditional full-time employees in their new business ventures.
At the opposite end of the age spectrum, Millennials, also known as Gen Yers, twenty-one to thirty-two years old, account for only 21 percent of the independent workforce. These younger independent contractors are also the least satisfied with their current situations, and 25 percent said they had gone independent due to job loss or their inability to find full-time employment. Sixty percent said they are concerned about their income.
Men make up 52 percent of the independent workforce in the country and are more likely to have long-term contracts than their female counterparts. Seventy-nine percent of men had previously held full-time jobs. Sixty-eight percent of women had previously worked in full-time positions before becoming independent workers.
By 2017, MBO estimates the number of independent contract workers in the U.S. will grow to 22 million.
Haydn Shaughnessy “Who Are The Happiest Workers in America (And Who Is Getting Happier)?”
MBO Partners “The State of Independence in America” September 2012