Accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis, the US freelance workforce continues to grow. Freelance workers pumped $1.3 trillion worth of annual earnings into the U.S. economy in 2021, $100 million more than the year before. 59 million Americans** do freelance work for at least some of their income, making up 36% of the entire labor force.
With no sign of the trend slowing, we wanted to find out what financial life is really like for American freelancers and self-employed people. So, we took a look at the latest industry-wide IRS data, as well as data from users of the FlyFin A.I. tool, to see some of the trends, averages and data points that impact freelancers' lives most.
*Sole-proprietors (self-employed, independent contractors, salaried employees with a side hustle) and business owners (LLC, LLP, S-Corp, etc.)
These figures are based on data from the IRS' 2019 Sole Proprietorship Statistics data set and on a study of the top tax write-offs by 60,000 freelancers in 2021, conducted by FlyFin AI Inc.
The latter included data from a smaller set of compensated study subjects who earned at least $600 from their 1099 independent contractor jobs in 2021.