AT A GLANCE

  • A new report of predictions for freelance work by MBO Partners forecasts that that 58% of the American private workforce will be working as freelancers by 2027
  • The forecast expects that demand for skills such as project management will increase
  • The report states that just because people will enter independent work, it does not mean that they will continue to freelance for the rest of their careers

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November 01, 2017

Tidbits from MBO Partner’s 10 Predictions on Freelance Work

Recently, MBO Partners released their predictions for the next decade of independence work, painting a picture of what the future will look like in 2027. In this article, we discuss some of the key insights from their report.

1)       Increased percentage of freelancers

Currently 32% of the American private workforce is working as freelancers. By 2027, this figure is expected to grow to 58%. While this number seems staggering, it does include anyone who has ever taken up a side gig.

2)       Cycling in and out

As the last point shows, more people will enter independent work over the next decade, for both personal and professional reasons. However, just because they become freelancers doesn’t mean they’ll continue freelancing for the rest of their careers. 

3)       Barbell effect 

Currently there is already a “barbell effect” in freelance wages, where the highest-paid and lowest-paid ends of freelance work have the most significant growth. MBO Partners expects that at the low end, freelancers will continue to engage with platforms like Uber and Task Rabbit. On the high end, they expect to see more freelancers earning more than $100,000 annually as demand in areas like computer programming, biotechnology and human capital continues to grow.

 4)       Automation and AI

 Technology is starting to mature at a rapid pace. Demand for skills like project management is expected to increase and more robots are expected to enter the workforce to take on menial or automated tasks.

 5)       Retirement

 More and more workers will be engaging in freelance work rather than simply retiring at age 65. Already many Baby Boomers are starting second careers as freelancers and MBO Partners expects this trend to continue over the next decade.

 6)       Client of Choice

Over the next ten years, companies will have to continue to advance their position in the war for talent for independent workers. MBO Partners predicts that corporations will be refining policies and procedures to attract top talent, in order to become a client of choice for freelancers. Some of these areas include flexible and attractive payment and contract terms and preferred talent networks. 

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