In its third year, Freelancing in America illustrates what we’ve been saying all along: The freelance workforce is growing and independent workers are emerging as a powerful economic and political force.
Now, nearly 55 million Americans are freelancing – that’s 35% of the workforce. Today, the majority of freelancers do so by choice. And together, freelancers contributed $1 trillion dollars to the economy this year.
This is big. The economy increasingly depends on freelance labor. As such, freelancers have become a powerful political constituency – and they demand to be heard.
85% of freelancers plan to vote in the upcoming 2016 presidential election and 68% of those voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who represent freelancer interests. The vast majority of freelancers have heard little to nothing about freelance issues during the campaigns. With these findings, candidates and policy makers would do well to start paying attention to the concerns of the independent workforce: freelance issues are national economic issues.
Though freelancers sustain the economy to the tune of 1 trillion dollars, they still grapple with income instability, debt, and access to affordable healthcare. 7 out of 10 freelancers report facing late or nonpayment. It’s an unfair burden – independent workers are cut out of the employer-driven benefits system and need new supports and protections in order to thrive.
But despite the many challenges, the future of freelance looks bright. Freelancers feel more empowered, respected and motivated than ever before. Let’s use that energy to come together and make freelancing better for all.
Read Sara's op-ed at the Huffington Post.