2017 saw a proliferation of new opportunities for workers tired of the same old 40-hour work week. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Independent work, freelancing, part-time work, gig work… call it what you want, but 2017 saw a proliferation of new opportunities for workers tired of the same old 40-hour work week. And employers on the whole have been more than happy to find new ways to utilize the talents of this class of workers.  

Last December, we marked the gig economy of as one of 5 job trends to watch in 2017, and, well, that’s what we did. Here’s a selection of articles showing the growth in opportunities (and threats) to the gig economy.

The growing independent workforce (Infographic)

MBO Partners complied its data on independent workers to show why some professionals choose the self-employment route, and what challenges they may face…

Gig economy could transform social safety net

Some cities and states are exploring ways to provide benefits that are completely portable, including such measures as access to workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and even assistance in paying for health insurance…

3 trends mark independent workforce 

A current unemployment rate of 4.3 percent coupled with 6 million job openings and an economy that last year added 2.2 million payroll jobs in the past year is giving many independents with in-demand skills a chance not only to find additional work, but to ask for — and get — more money for it…

Gig workers are financially vulnerable 

The number of people opting for part-time employment increased over the last few years, making up 18.2 percent of the total U.S. workforce…

Who’s behind the rising popularity of the gig economy?

While the use of contract workers has been on the rise for more than a decade, the trend has particularly accelerated in recent years as both organizations and individuals that see significant benefits, including a more-agile business model and increased individual happiness…

“Best in Class” companies leveraging technology to tap gig economy

More than half of organizations are now leveraging labor automation and online talent platforms “as a keystone act” when addressing the talent requirements of a new business project…

Gig workers help small businesses, but bosses are nervous about it

According to a report from PYMNTs, there’s been a 37 percent increase in small- and medium-sized businesses’ hiring of gig workers over the last six months—more than any other type of worker—as business owners look for specialized professionals…

More employers shifting emphasis to gig, freelance workers

Randstad Sourceright reports that 61 percent of employers plan to replace up to 30 percent of their permanent positions with freelancers, gig workers and independent contractors in the next year… 

 

…and a look a little farther down the road:

The independent workforce of 2027: 5 predictions

Ten years from now, more than half of the workforce will be dabbling on the independent side. Here’s what contractors – and companies – can expect…