An excellent article from Scott Tillitt of the National Freelancers Union
Within 10 years, at its current growth rate, the majority of the US workforce will be freelancers. Think about that for a second (or a minute): It has major ramifications for our economy, politics, culture.
This startling stat comes from “Freelancing in America: 2017” (FIA), a comprehensive study from freelancing website Upwork and our own Freelancers Union.
FIA estimates that already more than one-third of the US workforce are currently freelancing (57 million Americans) and contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually to the economy — a nearly 30% jump since last year.
With a shout-out to the National Freelancers Union, here’s an article with more specific information about the advantages and disadvantages of the new tax law. Give it a read. If you have an accountant, you should be talking to them about upcoming changes.
In case you missed it due to the holiday rush, President Trump recently signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), representing the broadest reform of tax laws in three decades.
With the new laws now taking effect, you’ll notice both some positive and negative aspects related to individual and business taxes. Suffice it to say, the TCJA will impact you as a freelance professional.
I happened upon this article in an excellent, philosophy-oriented news magazine, Aeon. It looks like employees have finally become the same products as widgets on an assembly line. No job security, no employer loyalty, nor even an expectation of one. You take a job, not for the economic security or benefits, but to prepare yourself for the next one. It’s chilling and may be another reason behind the increase in the freelance workforce. Welcome to the world of neoliberal capitalism in the US and the domination of markets over people. How does it feel to be disposable?
The quitting economy: When employees are treated as short-term assets, they reinvent themselves as marketable goods, always ready to quit
“But as market value overtook other measures of a company’s value, maximising the short-term interests of shareholders began to override other concerns, other relationships. Quarterly earnings reports and stock prices became even more important, the sole measures of success. How companies treated employees changed, and has not changed back.”
This may not be the happiest news in the world, but it’s part and parcel of what we deal with as a nation. Welcome to the world of the independent contractor, which may be almost half of us by 2020. We already know the lifestyle. It’s nice to know that at least some media outlets are starting to report on this.
The gig economy is coming. You probably won’t like it.
Say goodbye to salaries, health insurance, and vacation days. Forty percent of America’s workforce could be freelance by 2020.
By Brandon Ambrosino
KAGE YAMI is a ninja for hire.
For the past four years, the 27-year-old Newton resident has worked as a professional stunt performer for films and TV shows being made in the Boston area, like Ghostbusters, set for release this summer. Sometimes work takes him to New York. Sometimes California. Sometimes he models. Basically, he says, he takes on “whatever gig comes my way.”
Yami is one of a growing number of workers participating in the “gig economy,” the hip-sounding term used to describe those Americans who make their livings in nontraditional ways — nontraditional meaning “in ways not limited to a 9-to-5 job” or, framed in less optimistic terms, “in ways that don’t usually offer health insurance.”
According to a 2014 study commissioned by the Freelancers Union, 53 million Americans are independent workers, about 34 percent of the total workforce. A study from Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of US workers will fall into this category.
Then feel free to chime in yourself. What do you think? Any ideas for stabilizing the coming independent workforce tsunami? What would you like to see by way of a sustainable social safety net? In case you didn’t know, the independent workforce is now about 1/3 of the US economy. The same statistic holds true of independents in Arlington, Mass.