New Study Shows Freelancers and Independent Professionals Thriving as Unemployment Remains High

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Detailed report from International Freelancers Day organizers unearths surprising information about the burgeoning independent workforce worldwide.

2012 Freelance Industry Report Infographic

Meet the New Generation of Freelancers

No one is really talking about the millions of professionals in fields as diverse as engineering, Web design, marketing or software development who are earning a great living and enjoying greater work/life balance.

As we enter this Labor Day weekend with millions of workers still unemployed or underemployed, an often-ignored segment of the workforce is not only growing, it's thriving. That is one of the key findings in the 2012 Freelance Industry Report, which was published this week by the International Freelancers Day Online Conference organizers. The report can be downloaded free at http://www.InternationalFreelancersDay.com/2012report.

Additionally, a hand-illustrated infographic summarizing the report's key findings is available at http://www.internationalfreelancersday.com/2012report/infographic.

According to the report, 49 percent of freelancers have not been negatively impacted by the economic downturn or have felt only a very minor impact. Moreover, the comprehensive report, which is based on a survey of 1,491 independent professionals, revealed that 77 percent of freelancers are optimistic about their prospects over the next 12 months.

"The remarkable thing about these figures is that you'd be hard-pressed to find any information about this rapidly growing segment of the workforce and how they are faring in this economy," says Ed Gandia, the report's author and founder of International Freelancers Day. "In fact, there is little published information about independent professionals. And no one is really talking about the millions of professionals in fields as diverse as engineering, Web design, marketing or software development who are earning a great living and enjoying greater work/life balance."

"Organizations are hiring a growing amount of freelance talent in order to staff key projects and initiatives more cost effectively and with less risk," says Erik Vonk, president of Back Of The House (BOTH), a company that offers freelancers their own portable benefits and back-office support, and the report's co-sponsor. "At the same time, an increasing number of professionals are proactively pursuing independence while confidence levels in employment as a dependable work arrangement are declining. Although both of these developments have been part of a decades-long global trend, the current prolonged period of economic uncertainty has accelerated their growth.”

Interestingly, the fact that more organizations are hiring freelance professionals doesn't necessarily mean that freelancers are being taken advantage of. According to the study, 33 percent of freelancers command $70 or more per hour. And 15 percent earn $100 or more per hour.

For most independent professionals, however, the freelance path is not just an economic decision — it's also a lifestyle choice. This may explain why 90 percent of survey respondents said they were happier now than they were before going solo. And 55 percent even said they wouldn't consider traditional employment, regardless of what the job paid or what it entailed.

The report also examined the earning patterns, habits and attitudes of "accidental" freelancers — professionals who are freelancing as a direct result of having been downsized. It also analyzed how independent professionals spur economic growth by hiring subcontractors and other support staff.

Packed with more than 80 color charts and diagrams, the report gives readers a fascinating and detailed look into the global independent workforce.

Download a free copy of the 2012 Freelance Industry Report at
http://www.InternationalFreelancersDay.com/2012report.

Additionally, a hand-illustrated infographic summarizing the report's key findings is available at http://www.internationalfreelancersday.com/2012report/infographic.

About International Freelancers Day
International Freelancers Day is a global initiative to celebrate independent professionals and the tremendous impact they have on the global economy. The celebration connectrs freelancers, consultants and other solo professionals through a free, one-day online conference. This year's event will feature 13 all-star presenters, including bestselling authors and industry thought leaders. More than 8,000 independent professionals from around the world are expected to attend the conference virtually. To learn more, visit http://www.InternationalFreelancersDay.com.

About Back of the House
Back Of The House offers Total Support for Independent Professionals™ — a personal support platform that combines IT and admin resources with health, retirement and insurance options. To learn more, visit http://www.both-usa.com.

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