The number of independent contractors is on the rise, as can be seen in the most recent update from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, from 8.5% (986,000) of the workforce in 2013 to 11.2% (1,310,000) in 2015. This is the highest it’s been since the ABS started keeping records in 1978.
The number of self-employed persons who employ others balance this though, from 8.7% (1,013,500) to 6.6% (764,000). However, the total number of self-employed individuals still went up from 17.2% to 17.8% of the workforce.
In addition, jobs marketplace Upwork estimates that around 4.1 million people, or 32% of the workforce, performed freelance work in 2015. Around 51% of those who left traditional employment already earn more and 58% said they will no longer go back.
So what do these numbers actually mean for independent contractors/self-employed individuals themselves?