Why Estimates of the Freelance Economy Disagree

Estimates of the size of the freelance economy come to significantly different conclusions, ranging from some estimating one in ten workers participate to one in three. Using both Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Freelancing in America (FIA) data, we show that one major reason why there is such a discrepancy in estimates is due to how occasional freelancers are counted (or not). This research compares estimates, examining complexities in counting caused by varying work frequency among different types of workers (such as the self-employed and multiple job holders).