Freelancers spur economy by tapping Web exchanges

Bloomberg News
Two years into his new career writing code for phone apps, Leo Landau works for companies as far away as Australia while never leaving his apartment in Eugene, Ore. By year’s end he expects to earn $10,000 more than inspecting buildings for asbestos, a job he lost in 2008. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



WORKFORCE

Freelancers spur economy by tapping Web exchanges

Bloomberg News
Posted 10/21/13

Two years into his new career writing code for phone apps, Leo Landau works for companies as far away as Australia while never leaving his apartment in Eugene, Ore. By year’s end he expects to earn $10,000 more than inspecting buildings for asbestos, a job he lost in 2008.

“I’m working from home, setting my own schedule and making decent money,” Landau said. He doesn’t plan on moving to California’s Silicon Valley even if he could land higher-paying work there. For now, the self-taught programmer, 31, says he enjoys cobbling together an income via Elance, a website where companies and short-term contractors pair up.

Digital freelancers such as Landau represent a growing portion of American workers. An Accenture Plc study included estimates of 20 percent of the U.S. workforce while the Freelancers Union, a New York-based advocacy group, puts the number at 42 million.

Some of these independents are attracted to the flexible lifestyle, others because they can’t get a job locally that matches their skills. They are replacing traditional work - being employed by a company - with a mix of projects completed over the Internet.

The recession that ended in June 2009 helped boost freelancing as a way for the newly unemployed to support themselves, and the practice has gained traction since. Internet exchanges allow companies to reduce labor costs by enlisting freelancers, who give up a reliable salary for discretion over how they work.

“All major recessions change the lens on how we approach work,” said Andrew Liakopoulos, a principal in Chicago at Deloitte Consulting LLP and co-author of a report this year called “The Open Talent Economy.” People “don’t necessarily have to be fully employed, with a number and a badge.”

Behind this shift, Liakopoulos said, is the technological ability for companies to divide their needs into projects and farm them out to a talent pool regardless of geography. As companies move toward accessing labor, rather than acquiring it, they’ll be able to respond more nimbly to macroeconomic shocks, he said.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot early!
  • Best Places to Work
    Enrollment is now open for the 7th annual Best Places to Work program. Winners w ...
  • Manufacturing Awards
    Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Awards. Dea ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement