Small Business Labs

53 Million Americans are part of the Low Wage Workforce

Small Business Labs

Brookings' Meet the Low Wage Workforce reports that 53 million Americans, or about 44% of all workers aged 18-64, have low-wage jobs. According to Brookings, the national average for a low-wage job is one that pays $16.03 per hour or less. 

2019 242

Freelancers and Solopreneurs are Increasingly Exporters

Small Business Labs

Despite trade wars, tariffs, and the erection of other barriers to cross-border commerce, independent workers, freelancers and solopreneurs are increasingly finding customers outside U.S. borders.

2019 268

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America's Affordability Crisis Driving Growth of Gig Work

Small Business Labs

The Atlantic's The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America covers how the rapid rise in the prices of housing, healthcare, education and childcare and their impact on Americans. 

2020 174

Book Review: Gig Mindset

Small Business Labs

Gig Mindset is a different kind of book on the gig economy.    Almost all gig economy books focus on how to become a freelancer or some form of independent worker.

2020 152

23% of Traditional Full-Time Job Holders Plan to Switch to Gig Work

Small Business Labs

According to MetLife's 2019 U.S. Employee Benefits Study, 23% of Americans with full-time traditional jobs intend to switch to gig work over the next 5 years. Another 14% say they are considering it. 

2019 274

The VanLife App

Small Business Labs

The San Diego Union Tribune's Would you live in a van? Two San Diego women launch startup for boho traveler movement covers a new app - conveniently called The VanLife App - targeted at VanLife nomads.

2020 154

Freelancers and Financial Well-Being

Small Business Labs

One of the ongoing questions around independent/gig work is its impact on the financial well-being of independent workers (freelancers, gig workers, self-employed, etc.). 

2019 233

Ipsos Global Trends 2020

Small Business Labs

The large, global market research firm Ipsos recently released its Global Trends 2020 study.    It's based on extensive surveys and interviews across 33 countries and updates similar efforts conducted in 2013 and 2016. 

2020 142

What Freelancers Want From Their Clients

Small Business Labs

As we pointed out earlier this week , firms of all sizes and types are increasing their use of freelancers and other forms of non-employee labor. 

2019 266

Report: Tech in 2020: Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Small Business Labs

Benedict Evans , who is a well-known VC and tech industry pundit, recently released Tech in 2020: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. 

2020 152

The Number of Nonemployer Businesses Continues to Grow

Small Business Labs

According to the  U.S. Census, the number of   nonemployer businesses in 2017 increased to 25,701,671, up 3.6% from 2016.    Nonemployers are businesses that have an owner, but don't have paid traditional full or part-time employees (W2 employees).

2019 234

More Freelancers Feeling Secure

Small Business Labs

MBO Partners released their 2019 State of Independence study this week. This is the 9th year of this ongoing study, which provides an in-depth look at American's independent workers (freelancers, independent contractors, self-employed, etc.).

2019 236

Americans Policy Priorities Highly Polarized

Small Business Labs

Pew Research's As Economic Concerns Recede, Environmental Protection Rises on the Public’s Policy Agenda covers a recent survey asking Americans about their policy priorities.

GCUC 2019 - Coworking's Surge Continues

Small Business Labs

The 2019 U.S. version of the Global Coworking Unconference Conference Series (GCUC) happened last week in Denver. Over 500 attendees showed up to discuss the state of the coworking industry and learn from one another.

2019 247

More Small Businesses Turning to Online Lenders for Financing

Small Business Labs

The Federal Reserve recently released its 2019 Small Business Credit Survey.    A key finding is the use of online lending sources by small businesses is rapidly expanding. 

The Dramatic Growth of the Internet's Share of Ad Spending

Small Business Labs

OK, it's well known that Internet advertising has been growing rapidly.    But even knowing that, the chart below (click to enlarge) is still stunning.      The chart is from Adage's Marketing Fact Pack 2020 and shows that the internet's share of U.S.

2020 142

The Great Risk Shift - and Economic Insecurity - Continues

Small Business Labs

"Risk shift" is the trend towards economic and other risks - and the responsibility for risk management - being shifted from institutions to individuals. 

2019 230

Community Lenders Creating Community Spaces - Credit Unions are Opening Coworking Spaces

Small Business Labs

CreditUnions.com's article 3 Ways to Connect Through Coworking Spaces provides an excellent example of how coworking is spreading across industry verticals and niche markets. The article highlights 3 credit unions that have opened coworking spaces.

2019 242

Purpose and a Paycheck and the New Retirement

Small Business Labs

Purpose and a Paycheck is a new book from Chris Farrell, a leading expert on retirement and workforce issues facing people over the age of 50. 

The Positive Mental Health Effects of Self-Employment

Small Business Labs

A recent academic study found that self-employed gig workers in the UK score higher across a range of psychological well-being measures than workers in the mainstream economy.

2019 209

BCG on the New Freelancers

Small Business Labs

Last week the Big 3 strategy consulting firm BCG released THE NEW FREELANCERS: TAPPING TALENT IN THE GIG ECONOMY , a study on "those who find temporary work through digital labor-sharing platforms."

2019 252

What WeWork's Troubles Mean for the Coworking industry

Small Business Labs

WeWork's troubles seem to be going from bad to worse. They lowered their target IPO valuation from their last private funding round value of $47 billion to under $20 billion - and maybe as low as $10 billion.

2019 196

Living as a Service and the Growth of Mobility

Small Business Labs

Landing recently raised $30 million to provide a "living as service" service.    The firm's founder describes this as : " an all-inclusive long-term living experience that allows a new generation of renters the freedom to choose where and how they live."

2020 142

The Rise of Independent Worker Teams: Fiverr's Studios and Upwork's Agency Experience

Small Business Labs

Fiverr this week announced a new service offering called "Studios" This service gives freelancers the ability to easily join forces to sell and tackle larger and more complex client assignments than a freelancer could do on their own.

What Control Means to the Self-Employed

Small Business Labs

Our article yesterday covered a study showing how work autonomy and control resulted in mental health benefits for the self-employed.    As a follow-up, the chart below (click to enlarge) is from the Freshbooks 2019 Self-Employment in America Report.

2019 203

JWT Intelligence's 100 Trends for 2020

Small Business Labs

Each of the past 6 years the trends group at the global advertising giant Wunderman Thompson has released an annual trends report covering 100 trends to follow in the coming year. Yes, they really do have 100 trends. And the JWt Intelligence Future 100 Report: 2020 takes 226 pages to cover them. 

2020 152

From Man’s Best Friend to Family’s Favorite Child

Small Business Labs

Regular readers know we like Pet Trends here at Small Business Labs. So we had to cover the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's article The Pet Economy Kicks Into Overdrive. The article covers the growth of the pet economy.

2019 209

Working Remotely the Norm for independent Workers

Small Business Labs

According to data from the 2019 MBO Partners State of Independence study , 83% of full-time independent workers report working remotely at least some of the time, and 31% report working remotely full-time.

2019 196

Each Year a Lot of Americans Start and Stop Being Freelancers

Small Business Labs

One of the more interesting findings from the 9 years of data from the MBO Partners State of Independence study series is how many Americans enter and exit independent work.

2019 182

Modern Homesteading and the Trend Towards Greater Independence

Small Business Labs

The trend towards desiring greater levels independence - and the autonomy, control and flexibility that comes with it - takes many forms. 

2019 238

The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

Small Business Labs

Recode's How remote work is quietly remaking our lives provides a deep dive on the growing impacts of the shift towards working remotely. Key quote: "The changes remote work has introduced have happened so gradually you may not have noticed.

2019 182

Why Independent Work and Coworking Increase Mental and Physical Well-Being

Small Business Labs

McKinsey's  The overlooked essentials of employee well-being focuses on how companies can improve the well-being of their employees.

2018 257

Academic Studies Show Gig Economy Larger Than Government Data Suggests

Small Business Labs

Several papers related to the gig economy presented last week at the American Economic Association annual meeting caught our eye. 

2019 242

Coworking is Disruptive Innovation

Small Business Labs

The term disruptive innovation was coined by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen and popularized by his classic 1997 book  The Innovator’s Dilemma.

2018 249

Connecting Artisan Makers With Retailers and Customers a Rapidly Growing Industry

Small Business Labs

Two companies that connect artisan makers with retailers and customers announced large funding rounds last week. The wholesale marketplace Faire raised $100 million while the wholesale and licensing business Minted said they raised $208 million.

2018 244

The Economic Impact of Craft Brewing

Small Business Labs

The Brewers Association recently released their small and craft brewing economic impact report for 2018.    The study found that the craft brewing industry contributed $79.1 Billion to the U.S. Economy in 2018 and provided directly and indirectly about 550,000 jobs. 

2019 182

Creative Professionals Pushing Back on California's New Gig Economy Law

Small Business Labs

California's new gig economy law, AB5, is not being well received by independent creative professionals.    Freelance writers, musicians, actors, artists, and other creative professionals are finding the new law is damaging their livelihoods. Indie musicians are a good example.

2020 142

Podcasting Entering the Mainstream

Small Business Labs

In case you hadn't heard, podcasting is booming.    According to The Infinite Dial 2019 , an annual survey conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital, more than half of all adult Americans have listened to one.

2019 221

A Look at Non-Employer Businesses from the SBA

Small Business Labs

The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Advocacy recently released A Look at Non-Employer Businesses , a one-page summary of key data on non-employers businesses. "Non-employer"

2018 247

The Rise of "Wealth Work"

Small Business Labs

Quartz's Life coaches are the new personal trainer highlights a trend we've been tracking since 2008 , the growth of personal services.    These are what noted labor economist David Autor calls "wealth work"   A good example is the growth are personal trainers.

2019 226

Coworking Doesn't Need a New Name, But the Office Space Industry Does

Small Business Labs

There's a mini controversy going on around whether or not coworking needs a new name.    The recent Allwork article Why Coworking Needs a New Definition covers the new name side.

2018 245

Study Says Over Half of Older Workers Suffer Involuntary Job Loss

Small Business Labs

ProPublica's If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours covers a fascinating study looking at the job paths of workers aged 50 or older. The study used data from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study.

2019 235

Upwork Study: Freelancing Providing Opportunities to Those Unable to Work in Traditional Jobs

Small Business Labs

Upwork released their 2019 Freelancing in America study. It's the 6th year Upwork has conducted this study.    The study found about 57 million Americans are freelancing. This equates to 35% of the workforce. 

2019 177