Occupations of independent contractors

April 30, 2001

More than 8 million persons worked as independent contractors in 1999. Independent contractors were more likely than traditional workers to hold managerial, professional specialty, sales, and production jobs.

Independent contractors and workers in traditional arrangements, by occupation, February 1999
[Chart data—TXT]

Among independent contractors, 20.5 percent were in executive, administrative and managerial positions, compared with 14.6 percent of workers in traditional arrangements. In addition, 18.9 percent of independent contractors were in precision production, craft, and repair jobs; 18.5 percent in professional specialty jobs; and 17.3 percent in sales jobs. The corresponding figures for traditional workers were 10.5 percent for production, 15.5 percent for professional, and 12.0 percent for sales.

These data are a product of a February supplement to the monthly Current Population Survey. "Independent contractors" are workers identified as independent contractors, independent consultants, or freelance workers, whether they were self-employed or wage and salary workers. Find out more in "Characteristics of and preference for alternative work arrangements,1999," by Marisa DiNatale, Monthly Labor Review, March 2001.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Occupations of independent contractors on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/apr/wk5/art01.htm (visited September 30, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.