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Why More Workers Are Saying ‘No Thanks’ to a Full-Time Job

Beth Braverman
Three government workers were fired Monday for allegedly padding their time cards.

After years of keeping a conservative head count, companies have finally started to hire workers again. But they may find that many workers aren’t interested in becoming full-time employees anymore.

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The number of independent workers increased by 12 percent in the past five years, and nearly 80 percent of those who work for themselves plan on remaining independent, according to a new report by MBO Partners. One in seven non-independent workers is considering going freelance.

Nearly 80 percent of freelance workers say that they’re happier working for themselves, thanks to the flexibility of being their own boss. Plus, they’re earning decent money.

More than a quarter of independent workers earn more than $75,000 per year, and the number making more than $100,000 per year has surged by 45 percent to almost 3 million.

The majority of today’s freelancers have actively chosen to go independent. Technology has made the shift easier, and Obamacare has made it possible for independent workers to secure health benefits for themselves and their families. However, they may be slacking when it comes to retirement planning. Seven in 10 self-employer people don’t save for retirement regularly, according to a separate report from TD Ameritrade.

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The number of full-time, independent workers now totals nearly 18 million Americans, with another 12.5 million who doing contract work part-time. Independent workers say they feel more secure working freelance, thanks to an average of four or more revenue streams, according to the MBO Partners report.