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Family 411: The Freelance Movement

Updated: Tuesday, January 28 2014, 09:38 AM EST
The American workforce is undergoing a major change. More people are now choosing to freelance rather than work full time.

"By 2020 we expect that half or more of the workforce will be freelancers," said career expert Julie Bauke.

Bauke says there are two big reasons the demand for freelancers is on a big upward trend. The first is the Affordable Care Act. 

"I think when you look at what employers are saying about their hiring in 2014, they are looking over their shoulder at what Obamacare will do to them," said Bauke.

Employers can save money by hiring freelancers or consultants because they don't have to pay benefits.

The number two reason freelance jobs will jump is Baby Boomers. ADP Retirement Research Institute says 18% of the workforce could retire within five years. That'll open jobs for a younger generation, having trouble finding work. But it'll also sap the workforce of wisdom. So Boomers will be in demand for businesses who need experts in their fields or people who can perform specialized tasks.

"As soon as I retired I started getting phone calls," said Baby Boomer Rhonda Reagh.

After 34 years in the public sector, Reagh became a freelancer in executive coaching and organizational development.

"What I see happening is this nexus of talent and energy that feels unprecedented in some ways," said Reagh.

Reagh's training up and coming leaders, and says this merging of the generations presents a unique opportunity for employers.

"It gives you a chance to re-think organizationally what you want things to look like and how to use the personnel you already have," said Reagh.

Reagh and Bauke predict a challenging new era for businesses, but Reagh says companies can experience the same enrichment her transition's brought her and the people she mentors.

Business experts add that companies need to consider new strategies for recruiting and training to replace those retiring boomers.Family 411: The Freelance Movement


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