Research and Analysis


Freelancing in America 2018

The Freelancers Union – https://www.freelancersunion.org/advocacy/

In the past five years, the freelance workforce has grown by 3.7 million to total nearly 57 million freelancers.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • More Americans are freelancing than five years ago

  • More than one in three Americans freelanced this year, and the freelance workforce has grown by 3.7 million to 56.7 million.

  • Over the last five years, people are increasingly making the choice to freelance: 63% of freelancers said they were freelancing by choice rather than necessity, up 10 points since 2014.

  • This increase is driven especially by growth among younger generations and full-time freelancers.

  • Americans are spending more than 1 billion hours per week freelancing—an increase of 72.8 million hours per week since 2015.


McKinsey Quarterly — Organizing for the future

January 2016 | Article

By Aaron De Smet, Susan Lund, and William Schaninger

Platform-based talent markets help put the emphasis in human-capital management back where it belongs—on humans.

Companies have long had difficulty maximizing the visibility and mobility of their best people. Managers can struggle to find the right person for a specific project, and talented workers can’t always see opportunities that might help them grow professionally and develop their expertise. Staffing coordinators have tried to step into the breach, but their efforts, even when effective, are necessarily limited in scale. These traditional shortcomings will soon increase as the exigencies of automation drive companies to break up jobs into their component parts.


Connecting talent with opportunity in the digital age

June 2015 | Report

By James Manyika, Susan Lund, Kelsey Robinson, John Valentino, and Richard Dobbs

Online talent platforms are increasingly connecting people to the right work opportunities. By 2025 they could add $2.7 trillion to global GDP, and begin to ameliorate many of the persistent problems in the world’s labor markets.

Online talent platforms can ease a number of labor-market dysfunctions by more effectively connecting individuals with work opportunities.

As online talent platforms grow in scale, they will become faster and more effective clearinghouses that can inject new momentum and transparency into job markets while drawing in new participants. Our supply-side analysis shows that online talent platforms could add $2.7 trillion, or 2.0 percent, to global GDP by 2025, while increasing employment by 72 million full-time-equivalent positions.


5 Major Ways Freelancers Will Change The Economy By 2040

Fast Company, 08.24.15, The Future of Work

The 9-to-5 job is dying. But what will an increasingly independent workforce mean for the economy?

By 2040, the job market will consist of part-time assignments, portfolio careers, and entrepreneurialism. Instead of day-in, day-out work consisting of much of the same responsibilities, a “career, then, will be composed of thousands of [short-term] assignments spread out over a lifetime,” says the report.