It’s not just Brits who are increasingly shifting to self-employment - our pals across the pond are too, with recent figures collated by MBO Partners suggesting that 16.9 million Americans now work independently, a figure that’s up nearly a million from last year.
In turn, this sub-section of the US workforce is now thought to contribute around $1 trillion to the US economy, a tidy sum which reflects the significant contribution freelancers, contractors and small businesses are making to the economy stateside.
Reinforcing lazy national stereotypes, American freelancers seem a pretty cheery bunch; findings from the survey suggested that the percentage of those dissatisfied with their self-employed status fell from 11% to 9% during the period of 2011-2012, whilst the number of those satisfied or highly satisfied increased to a whopping 86%.
Meanwhile our colonial brethren also appear pretty optimistic of their freelancing future, only 30% of those asked worried about it – a 10% fall from 40% in 2012. Predictably though, finding the next job plays on the mind of our American counterparts – 40% of those asked considering this a concern.
Despite potential uncertainty sourcing their next gig, 39% suggested they felt more secure being independent, an increase on 33% last year, perhaps reflecting the relative poor job security of traditional employment.
Ultimately, that’s something worth bearing in mind when looking at these self-employment trends. We’re continually told that job market’s tougher, but employment appears to be increasing. Undoubtedly the self-employed are bridging this employment gap and for the most part that’s probably a good thing. People seem happier, after all.
Photo by Ken Banks