As of 2015, 53 million Americans work as freelancers. Freelance workers and independent contractors earn 17% more per hour than conventional full-time employees. They will earn 28% less over the course of their career, however, because they work fewer hours. Freelance workers also pay for their own benefits, since companies do not provide them as they do for full-time employees. Eighty percent of freelancers work less than 40 hours per week.
Los Angeles has more contract workers than any other major U.S. city. Orlando saw the biggest increase in contract work recently among major U.S. cities.