Independent contractors in 2005
July 29, 2005
In February of this year, there were 10.3 million people working as independent contractors, accounting for 7.4 percent of the employed.
The proportion of the total employed who were independent contractors increased from 6.4 percent in February 2001.
Independent contractors were more likely than workers in traditional arrangements to be age 35 and over (81 versus 64 percent), male (65 versus 52 percent), and white (89 versus 82 percent). Thirty-six percent of independent contractors had at least a bachelor's degree in February 2005, compared with 33 percent of workers with traditional arrangements.
Independent contractors were more likely than those with traditional arrangements to be in management, business, and financial operations occupations; sales and related occupations; and construction and extraction occupations. In terms of industry, independent contractors were more likely than traditional workers to be employed in construction, financial activities, and professional and business services.
Fewer than 1 in 10 independent contractors said they would prefer a traditional work arrangement.
"Independent contractors" are workers identified as independent contractors, independent consultants, or freelance workers, whether they were self-employed or wage and salary workers.
These data are from a supplement to the February 2005 Current Population Survey. Find out more in Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements, February 2005, news release USDL 05-1433.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Independent contractors in 2005 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/jul/wk4/art05.htm (visited January 19, 2021).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Occupational Employment and Wages in Metro and Nonmetro Areas
Examines similarities and differences in employment and wages between metro and nonmetro areas.
- Gulf War Era Veterans in the Labor Force
Examines the demographic, employment, and unemployment characteristics of civilians who served in the U.S. military during Gulf War era.
- Using BLS Data to Match People with Disabilities with Jobs Presents data that can help increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities in the nation’s labor market.
- How Women and Aging Affect Trends in Labor Force Growth Examines how women’s labor force participation and the aging of the U.S. population affect trends in labor force growth.