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Earlier this month, we celebrated the best Labor Day weekend in decades.
No, I'm not talking about all of those holiday sales – or my backyard barbecue (though it was pretty awesome).
Instead, I'm talking about the numbers the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unveiled on Friday, Sept. 1, a few days before Labor Day.
According to the BLS, the nation created more than 200,000 jobs in August, beating forecasts. The unemployment rate remained at a decades-low 3.9%.
On top of that, wages are finally on the rise after stagnating since the recovery began almost a decade ago. With a 2.9% year-on-year growth, wages climbed at their fastest rate since June 2009.
But here's the thing. There's something about this jobs boom that Wall Street isn't telling you about.
Independent contractors also find themselves in the midst of a huge rally.
A new report says that the barely talked-about freelance workforce is growing three times faster than overall labor growth. Right now, it contributes $1.4 trillion to our economy.
This trend is bound to shake up employment as we know it.
And I've uncovered a great tech stock poised to crush the market thanks to this unstoppable trend.
Check it out…
Spirit of Independents
Now then, if all you did was glance at the headlines, you'd think the fast-growing U.S. economy heavily favors employees over freelancers. It's easy to see why.
Let's start with the hiring streak. August was the 95th consecutive month in which American employers hired more people than they fired. This is the longest such streak on record and, in part, explains why we have 6.9 million unfilled jobs out there.
You see, those employment trends are creating new income for millions of families. The U.S. Census Bureau says last year was the first time the average American middle-class household earned more than it did the year before since 1999. That average household income came in at a record $61,372.
In other words, with the economy running in high gear, it's never been a better time to become self-employed – or to start a new small business, for that matter.
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We see that reflected in the rise in power and income of independent workers. We're talking about folks like lawyers, accountants, and marketing and management consultants, as well as truck drivers, landscapers, real-estate agents, and sales reps.
Consider a study from Edelman Intelligence that says independents are trading in their W2s for 1099s in record numbers.
Titled Freelancing in America 2017, the comprehensive report found that 57.3 million people as of last year were technically self-employed, though many may work as independent contractors for the same firm for many years.
Growing three times faster than the official labor pool since 2014, independents will outnumber formal employees by 2027 according to the report, which was conducted for Freelance Union and Upwork, both pools for independent workers.
Self-Preservation Is Key
The report suggests that a surprising number of independents are motivated to give up a formal arrangement by simple self-preservation.
Edelman says 54% of U.S. workers believe their jobs may not exist in 20 years, falling victim to the impact of artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation.
By becoming freelancers, these people believe they can stay ahead of such threats and carve out careers in which they can respond quicker to big tech shifts. Some 65% of independents say they are updating skills to remain marketable, compared with 45% of employees who say the same thing.
And remember, many independents who file 1099 forms with the Internal Revenue Service as self-employed individuals own small businesses.
This group also is enjoying its halcyon days. The National Federation of Independent Business found last month that small-business optimism is at its highest ever in the 45 years it's been surveying members.
Add it all up and you can see that this is a great market for a tech leader that caters to this massive block of self-employed people.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.