After years of keeping a conservative head count, companies have finally started to hire workers again. But they may find that many workers aren’t interested in becoming full-time employees anymore.
The number of independent workers increased by 12 percent in the past five years, and nearly 80 percent of those who work for themselves plan on remaining independent, according to a new report by MBO Partners. One in seven non-independent workers is considering going freelance.
Nearly 80 percent of freelance workers say that they’re happier working for themselves, thanks to the flexibility of being their own boss. Plus, they’re earning decent money.
More than a quarter of independent workers earn more than $75,000 per year, and the number making more than $100,000 per year has surged by 45 percent to almost 3 million.
The majority of today’s freelancers have actively chosen to go independent. Technology has made the shift easier, and Obamacare has made it possible for independent workers to secure health benefits for themselves and their families. However, they may be slacking when it comes to retirement planning. Seven in 10 self-employer people don’t save for retirement regularly, according to a separate report from TD Ameritrade.
The number of full-time, independent workers now totals nearly 18 million Americans, with another 12.5 million who doing contract work part-time. Independent workers say they feel more secure working freelance, thanks to an average of four or more revenue streams, according to the MBO Partners report.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”