I attended the Staffing Industry Analysts Contingent Workforce Summit a couple of weeks ago.
This show is targeted at contingent workforce managers at large companies and provides a forum to discuss best practices around the hiring and managing of contingent workers (freelancers, independent contractors, etc.).
As you can see from this write up on the conference, large corporations are forecast to increase their use of contingent workers over the coming years.
It's not just the SIA forecasting this increase. Ardent Partners, a research firm focused on procurement issues, is also saying corporations are going to be hiring more contingent workers. Key quote on this from the article "Is the Flex Economy Real":
... Ardent Partners finds that utilization of contingent, contract, and temporary workers (including freelancers) will grow by 30% over the next three years, a factor that is actively forcing business to reevaluate their existing strategies and approaches for managing this non-traditional talent.
Our work focuses more on the supply side of the freelance economy and it shows the supply of independent workers has been growing much faster than the overall labor force.
That both supply and demand for independent workers is growing is good news for the freelance economy. We expect both sides to continue their growth for at least the next decade.