MBO Partners’ Annual State of Independence in America Workforce Study

The Annual MBO Partners State of Independence study has for over a decade chronicled a large, vibrant, diverse, and economically powerful component of the American workforce. Independents are Americans of all ages, skill, and income levels who turn to freelancing, contract work, consulting, temporary assignments or on-call work regularly each week for income, opportunity and satisfaction. In 2021, 51.2 million workers aged 21 and over engaged in independent work or a non-traditional activity to earn income. These numbers increasingly assert that independent work is a satisfying choice that creates new income streams and diversifies household financial risk. Click here for the full report.

The MBO Partners State of Independence in America study, conducted by Rockbridge and Emergent Research, has tracked independent workforce trends since 2011.  The 2021 wave was based on a comprehensive survey of 6,240 U.S. adults, relying on a multiphase sampling approach that included the general population and individuals who specifically work independently.  The results are used to size the independent workforce and capture trends in the nature of independent work and freelancing, addressing themes such as independent work satisfaction, the creator economy, digital nomads and generational differences.

View more of Rockbridge’s studies on the workforce economy here.