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The State of Independence in America

What is it measuring?

The number of workers with independent arrangements, including consultants, freelancers, contractors, temporary, and on-call workers. It also asks about their experiences and satisfaction.

What does it tell us?

41.8 million people participate in independent work at least monthly, slightly up from 40.9 million in 2017. This number translates to 26.9 percent of employed workers.

How is it collected?

Through an online survey administered by Emergent Research and Rockbridge Associates, with 3,584 respondents. Responses were weighted demographically to represent the population.

Who collects it?

MBO Partners, a business services company marketed toward independent professionals, contracts Emergent Research and Rockbridge Associates to conduct the annual survey.


Online surveys are unlikely to be representative of the population, with educated and higher-income workers likely to be overrepresented. Although many consider full-time to mean 40 hours per week, this survey counts anything above 15 hours per week as full-time.

How to access this data?

Privately held by MBO Partners


The State of Independence in America Report; 2018; Emergent Research; MBO Partners;