Freelancer employment trends, 2014–15

2014 Study 2015 Study Change 2014–15
  Millions Share of total   Millions Share of total   Millions Percent change
A. Benchmarked to labor force
Independent contractors 21.1 39.8% 19.3 35.9% -1.8 -8.5%
Moonlighters 14.3 27.0% 13.2 24.6% -1.1 -7.7%
Diversified workers 9.3 17.5% 14.1 26.3% 4.8 51.6%
Temporary workers 5.5 10.4% 4.6 8.6% -0.9 -16.4%
Freelance business owners 2.8 5.3% 2.5 4.7% -0.3 -10.7%
Total “freelancers” 53.0 100.0% 53.7 100.0% 0.7 1.3%
B. Benchmarked to employment, 18 and older
Independent contractors      19.6 39.8%     18.1 35.9% -1.5 -7.7%
Moonlighters      13.3 27.0%     12.4 24.6% -0.9 -6.9%
Diversified workers       8.6 17.5%     13.2 26.3% 4.6 52.9%
Temporary workers       5.1 10.4%       4.3 8.6% -0.8 -15.6%
Freelance business owners       2.6 5.3%       2.3 4.7% -0.3 -9.9%
Total “freelancers”      49.2 100.0%     50.3 100.0% 1.1 2.2%
Memo: Share of employment (18+)
Independent contractors 13.5% 12.3%
Total “freelancers” 34.0% 34.2%

Source: Author's analysis of Freelancers Union/Upwork (2014, p.5; 2015, p. 6)

View the underlying data on epi.org.