Durham, N.C.’s Freelance Industry Continues to Grow, Reflecting National Trend

up trend

America’s freelance sector is one of the fastest-growing parts of the national economy.

According to a June 23 News & Observer article, a combination of globalization, outsourcing, technology and an uncertain economic climate has resulted in any Americans choosing self-employment.

Since 2011, the number of workers who consider themselves freelancers as well as contractors, consultants, temps and more, has grown by 10%. By 2020, the percentage of adult workers who are working or have worked as an independent will reach 50%, up from 40% currently, the News & Observer reports.

Businesses and companies love freelancers, as well. According to a June 16 article that appeared on Slate.com, American freelancers are expected to account for $500 million of the $930 million businesses will spend on hiring independent workers this year. Gross freelance earnings have grown by about 50% over the last five years, as well.

According to Jaleh Bisharat, senior vice president of marketing at Elance-oDesk, a California company that helps businesses reach freelancers, being a successful freelancer is understanding how to brand oneself and stand out from similar businesses and freelancers.

One potential disadvantage to being a freelancer is losing the ability to accept credit card payments, which is often a requirement for businesses today. Staying organized with no permanent desk location can also be a challenge for some.

But ultimately, a freelancing gig can be fulfilling and rewarding as you make your way toward success as a one-man or one-woman business.

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