The 2013 MBO Partners State of Independence Report was released today. This is the 3rd year we've worked with MBO Partners on this study and it's the most in-depth analysis of the independent workforce (freelancers, the self-employed, etc.) we're aware of.
This year we expanded the research, conducting two surveys with over 2000 respondents each. We also conducted dozens of interviews and held multiple focus groups and workshops on independent work.
Some of the key highlights from this year's research include:
- The number of independent workers (which we define as those working at least 15 hours a week as independents) increased to 17.7 million, up from 16.9 million in 2012.
- Satisfaction with independent work continued to be high, with 64% of the respondents reporting they are highly satisfied. This is consistent with the satisfaction levels reported in the prior two years.
- The majority (56%) of independent workers reported they chose to be independent, again consistent with the results from prior years.
- The vast majority of independents surveyed reported they plan to stay independent (63%) or build a larger business (14%). Only 16% report plans to seek a traditional full-time (14%) or part-time (2%) job.
This year's study includes additional research on the economic impact of independent workers, how non-independent workers view independent work and other new topics. Below is the study infographic with more data.