It’s been over ten years since the Bureau of Labor Statistics last conducted its Contingent Work Survey in 2005, which found that just over 10 percent of American workers engaged in alternative work arrangements. Recent indications are that this figure has grown substantially since then–data released this spring by Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger put the percentage up to 15.8 percent–resulting, in many instances, from the rise of the “gig economy.”
If you look at the headlines, you know that this segment of workers is growing rapidly. Independent contractors are one of an array of alternative work arrangements–but they are the largest contingent. In partnership with the Direct Selling Association, Bloomberg Government conducted a survey of 864 independent contractors to gain a better understanding of the ways Americans work independently.