Remembering the Unsung Heroes (Freelancers)
When the word ‘small business’ is mentioned, many people are quick to think of physical structures, goods and services. However, in our digitalized world, there are lots of activities happening online than one could ever imagine.
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Freelancing is one of the most sought out businesses in the world today. According to The Global Business Survey, 54% of the workforce will be online in 2017, while a study by Intuit revealed that freelancers could increase to a staggering 40% by 2020.
There isn’t a better time to highlight the amazing contributions of freelancers for their growth and development of the American economy.
1. Increasing the U.S. Workforce
There is nothing more soothing for a country whose productive workforce is significantly greater than the unproductive; and especially when the majority of that productive workforce is self-employed. This is what makes the American economy competitive globally.
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Gone are the days when job applicants sent their resume to dozens of companies and waited for a reply. This is because the rising freelance market across the United States shows young professionals focusing on freelance work. The freelance workforce grew from 53 million in 2014 to 55 million in 2016 and currently represents 35% of the U.S. workforce. The freelance workforce earned an estimated $1 trillion this past year, representing a significant share of the U.S. economy.
2. Changing the Traditional Workplace
Before now, work was believed to be done in offices. Employees working 8 to 5 were actually regarded as those with a career path. However, freelancers have changed this belief.
perceptions of freelancing are changing. 59% of freelancers think the freelance job market has changed as compared to three years ago. Of these, 63% said perceptions of freelancing as a career are becoming more positive, and 60% said freelancing has become more respected as a career path. Nearly half (46%) of full-time freelancers raised their rates in the past year, and more than half (54%) plan to raise them next year. The majority of freelancers said that today, having a diversified portfolio of clients is more secured than having one employer.
According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends study, 51 percent of global executives surveyed said their organizations’ plan is to increase the use of flexible and independent workers in the next three to five years.
3. Employment Generation
The U.S. Small Business Administration says that every day, small business owners are working to grow their small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness. Freelancers are great investors too. By raising adequate capital meeting their clients’ job assignments, they have the fund to invest in any sector of the economy
For example, Jeff Shuford, co-founder and president of Tech From Vets, said “my tech company was established while doing freelance work for a client. The client turned out to be my future vice-president. Freelancing helped me launch a successful tech company.”
4. Contribution to National Income
There is no doubt that the activities of freelancers massively contribute to the U.S. national income. A 2016 survey shows that freelancers are a diverse but vital part of the U.S. economy, contributing over $1 trillion in freelance earnings. This is huge.
Sergey Grybniak, the founder of Opporty, says freelancers are reliable professionals who can offer their services any day of the week. Just submit an offer and receive responses almost immediately. Then, just choose the best offer.“Freelancers want to know that America supports them,” said Upwork CEO, Stephane Kasriel. And according to the Freelancers Union, now’s the time for business leaders, policy makers and candidates alike to stand up and take notice of their potential influence and to start developing ways to help them overcome the most pressing issues impacting their lives.
Thumbs up to all the freelancers in the world, particularly in the U.S, as we celebrate the impact of small businesses in 2017.