One-Third Of Americans Are Working For Themselves

Business Insider

When the economy became unreliable, people decided to rely on themselves to propel their careers.

“We see the labor market itself following the trend that we call ‘the individualization of work' — people working for themselves,” says Iain MacDonald, CEO of SkillPages. “People are increasingly either moving jobs more often, doing what they love, or doing what they really like to do, rather than what they have to do.”

Nearly one in three workers in America are freelancers, contractors, or contingent workers, according to the Freelancers Union, and 19 percent of them say that they've doubled their income within the past year.

According to a survey by Elance, the average freelancer expects to earn 43 percent more in 2013 than they did in 2012. Furthermore, 70 percent claim they're happier and 79 percent say they're more productive working as a freelancer than a full-time employee.

Entrepreneurs like MacDonald understand that this workplace trend isn't halting any time soon, so he created a business model aimed at connecting people based on their skills.

And SkillPages has proven to be useful to the public. 

“At the beginning of this year we were growing at a rate of about 100,000 users a month. Now we’re up to about 1 million new users a month,” says MacDonald.

“Without a doubt the statistics would already show that that is occurring. The kind of traditional lifestyle of joining a company and staying for 20 years is all but gone,” he says. 

The U.S. would need to produce at least 2 million new businesses a year to start seeing some healthy economic growth, Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton told the Times-Dispatch.

This year, the country produced 400,000. 

Companies aren't creating enough jobs to sustain the high number of unemployed individuals, and it will take entrepreneurs to help drive the economy. 

“The changing dynamic of corporate America has bred a generation of professionals who now put their faith in their own skills and expertise,” says MacDonald. “It’s why the web needs a central point for connecting people with skills to the people who need them.”

“People are businesses now,” he says. “They consider themselves to be their own sources of profit and loss. The whole concept of individualization of work... is a trend that we’re very excited about and that we see growing.”

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