"Traditional employment will no longer be the norm, replaced by contingent workers such as freelancers and part-time workers," Intuit said back in 2010. "The long-term trend of hiring contingent workers will continue to accelerate, with more than 80% of large corporations planning to substantially increase their use of a flexible workforce."
By hiring freelancers on (mostly) a project basis, companies can better control workflow and not having to dig into reserves to pay for such things as employee health insurance and employer-based retirement plans.
Freelancers, meanwhile enjoy flexible schedules, no commute (in most cases) and have leverage salaried employees don't have, including a lower risk of losing all their income to a layoff or downsizing campaign, since most freelancers have multiple clients and can more easily absorb the loss of a single client.
Since you could be one of those four in 10 Americans freelancing, best to keep up on trends affecting them.
A new study, The Future of Work: Preparing for Independence, by the Career Advisory Board and MBO Partners, points to several key themes of interest to freelancers, would-be freelancers and companies of all shapes and sizes: