Freelancers will be the majority of the U.S. workforce by 2027
Are you one of them?
The technology industry is changing the way we live, learn and work. As part of its development process, freelancing is growing at a frenetic pace.
A 2017 study by the Freelancers Union and Upwork has recently been released. According to the study, the freelance workforce grew from 53 million in 2014 to 57.3 million in 2017. Imagine that, more than 57.3 million people in the US are freelancers today. Sounds impressive, right?
The report also predicts that freelancers will be the majority of the U.S. workforce by 2027. What does that tell us?
It’s no mystery that technology is transforming many industries. But it also enables more freelancing opportunities. And, more and more people are already freelancing by choice as the job market changes. Freelancing can give people more opportunity to develop by working in broader roles. More time to learn new skills.
So, the first thing to realize is the shift is not only about employment, it's about education.
Technology is changing the nature of work, that’s true. But, freelancers are better preparing for the future of work than traditional employees. The study suggests, 65% of full-time freelancers update their job skills. This compared to only 45% of full-time traditional employees.
That’s because freelance workers are more connected to industry changes. They are more aware of the impact of technological innovation on work realities. And, have a focus on marketplace needs, with daily feedback on upwork incoming demand.
Second, we will likely see many more enterprises using freelance marketplaces to get global talent. A new independent research from the Oxford Internet Institute emphasizes the move to freelancing platforms. According to the study, between 2016 and 2017, there has been a 26% increase in the work that enterprises source from freelancers through platforms. The firms are eager to use online platforms more than ever, says the study, as the nature of work is changing and companies can make strategic use of it. This was unthinkable just a few years ago, but now online freelance platforms are an important tool to access global talent.
Finally, over half of the U.S. workforce (54%) has concerns about the impact of technology on jobs. People are no longer confident that the work they do today will exist in 20 years. Everybody can see these changes already. But, has the traditional educational education system adjusted to the new world? How will people reskill and upskill in a timely fashion?
While the movement from traditional jobs to freelancing is happening, we also expect a movement from formal to non-formal education training programs.