18.5% of the Workforce are Freelance workers
The steady increase in employment levels has seen the unemployment rate reduced from 5.8% in July 2009 to fewer than 5.1% for September 2010 with 31,000 jobs taken with close to 350,000 jobs created this year. This consolidation in employment levels has been strongly supported by the steady uptake of independent contractors (freelancers). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Pub 2010, forms of employment 6359) 18.5% of the Australian workforce is self employed representing some 1.97M workers. Of these 1M are regarded as freelancers with the remainder being small business operators who employ other staff. This is a remarkable figure and a testimony to strong contribution freelancers have made to Australia being one of the strongest economies in the OECD. It is also interesting to note that Germany, who was severely affected by the GFC, now has the lowest unemployment rate since 1992.
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This article was published in the Australia Freelance Market Newsletter 58.