Despite Odds, Freelancing Economy Has Seen Record Growth Rates

Business woman typing on keyboardBelieve it or not, freelancers are taking the world by storm. In an increasingly technology-driven age where people of all walks of life are more capable and willing to work remotely, freelancing has seen epic growth.

A recent study by Paychex reveals some surprising data about the rapidly growing workforce.

Examining 400,000 freelancers’ resumes from Indeed.com, the report uncovers valuable insights on the economy, specialties, and popularity of freelancing around the United States.

During the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, freelancing was relatively uncommon. However, once the new millennium struck, the idea of entrepreneurship became appealing to a wide variety of people. And thus, the freelancing economy began to grow.

According to the Paychex report, the freelancing economy increased by over 500% between 2000 and 2014.

There are approximately 53 million freelancers currently working in the United States, and 14.3 million are considered “moonlighters,” or those who have a full-time job and simply freelance on the side. Another 9.3 million also have multiple sources of income in addition to their freelancing jobs.

However, of the 400,000 resumes examined, data revealed that about 134,000 only freelance for about a year, leaving the gig behind for a more promising job with benefits.

But now those workers with benefits may have another issue if they ever have to file a workers compensation claim, particularly those in California.

As a result of changes in 2013 under Senate Bill 863, injured workers can no longer appeal treatment denials in front of a judge.

Instead, the state now contracts with a privately owned organization that reviews appeals according to a process called “Independent Medical Review.”

Experts believe the majority of adults should be getting up to 8.5 hours of sleep per night, but now those people suffering from fatigue-related work injuries may have a much more difficult time seeking treatment as part of their workers compensation.

This new system doesn’t give patients much of a chance, and presents a whole new set of challenges for those workers facing serious injury as a result of an on-site accident.

Major critics of the Independent Medical Review (IMR) process have a serious issue with the doctors making the decisions.

These doctors, instead of seeing or examining the patient in person, simply receive a slice of their medical history and are then tasked with determining whether or not to approve treatment.

Fortunately, though tasked with their own set of challenges, this is one issue freelancers won’t have to deal with.

However, freelancers need to go big or go home. Like countless other career paths, full-time freelancing requires a presence in bigger cities like New York or Los Angeles in order to create success.

Despite the challenges, though, the market for freelancers continues to grow.

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