NBC News said it best last week:
“In an increasingly virtual work world, an estimated one-third of U.S. workers — more than 42 million men and women — no longer report to traditional 9-to-5 jobs. Instead they belong to a growing freelance segment of the labor force, an often skilled class of career jugglers and independents who create mosaic incomes from contract gigs, projects, part-time jobs, temp work, moonlighting and consulting. This freelance nation fills the gaps that corporate America no longer wishes to cover with full-time salaried employees.” ~ Link
Freelancing seemed the norm when I was abroad. I mean, what else are you going to do in a country that does not grant foreigners work visas? But back stateside, apparently the paradigm has shifted. I am tossed into a job market so battered by recession that employers would rather hire out projects piecemeal than pay a salary.
Not that I am complaining. Take a look at this report from Elance, a freelancing site I use regularly.
of Elance users said they freelance as much as they can because it is their main source of income.
said they were happier freelancing than they would be as a full-time employee.
But here is the kicker:
of freelancers expected their income to increase next year. Of that percentage, most thought their income would increase anywhere from 10-40%. On Elance, the biggest growth appeared in the high-skilled computer programming industry with internet software companies growing their freelancer base by more than 125% just this last quarter.
I would be shocked if any numbers from the traditional job market followed these trends.