This is an excerpt from a column posted at BizOpinion.
Across the great state of Wisconsin there are thousands of independent contractors working hard to provide for their families while contributing to our local economy. You may know them as hair stylists, software engineers, loggers, package delivery drivers, even emergency room physicians. Whatever they and many others like them do, there is one thing they all have in common: they are doing their best to make a living for their families. And in many cases they are creating much-needed jobs for others.
Recently, a national coalition called It’s My Business launched to help provide a voice for the millions of people who have decided to be their own bosses and build their own businesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 82 percent of independent contractors prefer this arrangement for making their living as opposed to being an employee. And the Pew Research Center reports that 39 percent of self-employed workers are “completely satisfied” with their jobs compared to 28 percent of workers in wage or salary jobs.
At a time when the workforce is changing, it is critical to raise awareness about the contributions of independent contractors to our economy.
Independent contractors are virtually everywhere – in every city and town in this state. There are more than 10 million of them across the United States – making up more than 7 percent of the total workforce. They are essential to our economy, accounting for $473 billion in personal income, or one out of every 10 dollars earned across the nation.