If you've ever thought about ditching the full-time job and striking out on your own, you're not alone. Nearly 54 million Americans are now doing freelance work, according to a new study commissioned by the Freelancers Union and Upwork.com, and an estimated 60 percent of them made the jump by choice, an increase of 7 percent from last year.
Freelancing is becoming a more prevalent, viable option for workers — a trend that spans across borders, industries and occupations.
Despite the important implications of this development, the freelance workforce has, until recently, gone largely unexamined. Following the success of their landmark 2014 study, Freelancers Union and Upwork partnered again to sponsor a second annual survey conducted by an independent research firm. “Freelancing in America: 2015” represents the most comprehensive survey of the freelance workforce. The results showed that freelancers are a critical sector of the U.S. labor force: approaching 54 million Americans—over one-third of all U.S. workers—have done freelance work in the past year. This is 700,000 more freelancers than last year.