‘Soloprenuers’ and Freelancers Are a Rapidly Growing Portion of America’s Changing Workforce

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New research has found that the American workforce is shifting from the traditional nine-to-five, stationary worker to people who have been dubbed “solopreneurs.” According to Business News Daily, the findings were released in conjunction with the MBO Partners’ fourth annual State of Independence in America study.The term “soloprenuer” refers to a person who works independently full time, and the number of them has grown over 12% in the last two years — topping out at 17.9 million in 2014. The growth in the American workforce in general was only 1.1% in the last year, which, according to the authors of the study, “indicates a continued, structural shift towards independent work.”

Solopreneurs aren’t the only ones taking advantage of working independently, however. There are an additional 12.1 million “side-giggers” who work independently part time, spending roughly 15 hours a week on freelance projects.

The study identifies an “independent worker” as a person over the age of 21 who describes his or her job status as a freelance, temporary, fixed-term, on-call or self-employed worker, small business owner, or an independent contractor or consultant.

In addition to solopreneurs, according to Business Insider, 34% of the American workforce is comprised now of freelancers. Most of them — almost 70% — claim to freelance to earn extra cash, while the rest of them freelance so that they can have a flexible schedule. Another benefit of freelancing is the variety that traditional jobs don’t offer.

So what are these freelancers, solopreneurs, and side-giggers doing? Flexjobs, a telecommuting and flexible job search site, ranked the top 55 companies hiring for jobs that are freelance, based on the number of the job listings the companies posted between August 2013 and August 2014. Of all of the jobs offered, Flexjobs found that the most common are translation, consulting, accounting and finance, web development, computer and IT, education, healthcare, entertainment, sales and marketing, and writing.

One of the top companies is About.com (which is number two on the Flexjobs 2014 list of the 55 Top Companies Hiring for Freelance Jobs). A freelance writer for About.com might write about popular issues and trending topics like cars, the economy, how hybrid vehicles are both fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, for example.

Whatever they’re doing, freelancers and other independent workers are replacing the traditional nine-to-five employee at a growing pace — and are performing more and more different types of work.

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