The Freelance Revolution

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“Today, careers consist of piecing together various types of work, juggling multiple clients, learning to be marketing and accounting experts, and creating offices in bedrooms/coffee shops/coworking spaces. Independent workers abound. We call them freelancers, contractors, sole proprietors, consultants, temps, and the self-employed.”

In 2005 one-third of the American workforce was a part of the “freelance economy,” and data suggests that the numbers have been increasing as the economy has forced some workers out of traditional jobs, while others have chosen the life of the independent worker.

Asserting that this transition “is nothing less than a revolution,” this piece breaks down the trends attached to the new workforce: our lack of knowledge about its “true” make-up and economic contributions; the lack of protections and security; and the need to establish economic security in “profoundly new ways.” The author looks toward a solution, presenting the idea of “new mutualism.”


Lisa Dusenbery is the former managing editor of The Rumpus. More from this author →