Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Independent Contractors Are Growing

Samuel Staley
August 24, 2011, 9:02pm has a series of very interesting articles on the growth of independent contractors-the "1099" workers (those filing miscellaneous income for non-traditional (re: W-2) work). Nearly one-fourth of all workers are now in the "noncovered" or workforce, up from 19% in 2001 according to the economic modeling firm EMSI. States with more than a quarter of their workforce filing 1099s include: Montana (29.4%), Idaho (28.3%), Vermont, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Tennessee, Maine, Texas, Oregon and California. Yet, every state in the US has experienced growth in these workers since 2006, with some potentially important implications for entrepreneurship.

1099 workers aren't tied to specific companies, so they typically work on contract and with multiple clients. Their employment is inherently entrpreneurial, suggesting the labor market is becoming more dynamic.

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow

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