To understand this demographic group, we have to look at the numbers and their description. Today’s free agents can be categorized into the following groups, and may in fact be represented across multiple categories as they build their portfolio of experiences:
Independent contractors: (64% of global free agent population) freelancers who work for an employer on a per-project basis
Freelance business owners: (28% of global free agent population) those with up to five employees who consider themselves both a freelancer and a business owner
Temporary workers: (24% of global free agent population) workers typically hired for a fixed duration, often through an agency
Moonlighters: (13% of global free agent population) workers with a primary, traditional “day job” who also do freelance work on the side
Diversified workers: (4% of global free agent population) those with multiple sources of income from a mix of traditional and freelance assignments, with freelance work accounting for the majority of income
Source: Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2009-2013 Forecast. International Data Corporation.
You could say that there are hybrids of these categories including entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, mompreneurs, consultants, giglancers and outcasts of the W-2 World. Actually, the last category I added for some drama. The number mentioned above of 55 million U.S. freelancers is more likely understated due to the difficulty of categorizing this demographic group. We would further divide these Free Agents into two different categories: knowledge workers and gig economy workers. The big difference between the two groups are that knowledge workers are striving for economic freedom while gig economy workers are looking to supplement their incomes. Examples of gig economy workers are those using companies like Uber, Airbnb, Etsy, and Takl where they have full-time jobs along with those gigs.
In 1997 when Daniel Pink was showcased on Fast Company, he estimated that Free Agent, USA had a population of 25 million residents. In 2016, the Free Agent population is estimated at 55 million. This is not a demographic group you want to ignore if you are a business owner or corporation. We have attached an exerpt from Daniel Pink's Fast Company article (1997) below along with a Free Agent study published by Kelly Financial Resources. I also wanted to share below a quote from a Free Agent and a response from a Free Agent when asked if she would go back to Corporate Life. Very interesting and relevant to our community of Free Agents and Entrepreneurs here at Freeagentglobal.com. For me personally, I needed to get out of the Corporate Rat Race and be free by working for the best boss ever: ME. Thank you to the Free Agent Community!
“Free agency forces you to think about who you are and what you want to do with your life.”
Would you go back (meaning Corporate Life)?
“I can’t imagine why.”
Free Agent Nation excerpt by Daniel Pink
Free Agency by Kelly Financial Services
Best Regards & Success,