Friday's monthly jobs report missed the mark, but it doesn't tell the whole story. The report doesn't include information about the number of workers participating in the so called "gig economy," according to Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, a freelancing website. "That's essentially the secret weapon of U.S. businesses, and they aren't properly accounted for," he said. Upwork and the Freelancers Union released its third annual "Freelancing in America" survey this week. The survey examines the current state of the freelance economy, along with how freelancers are feeling about this year's presidential race. The poll found there are 55 million people who freelanced in the past year, which represents 35% of the total U.S. workforce. "We just added two million freelancers over the last three years, so its essentially the fastest growing part of the U.S. economy," said Kasriel. The survey also found that it's not just young workers who are part of the freelance economy, as twenty-eight percent of Baby Boomers are currently freelancing. And most of them will go to the polls this November, but who they vote for is still very much up in the air. "So the shocking number here is 85% of those 55 million people are saying they will vote, and of those, 70% are saying their vote is still up for grabs," explained Kasriel. "So when polled they say they currently favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, but literally 70% of them said their vote could be swayed, based on the candidate addressing their needs and their interests." In Kasriel's view, neither candidate has spent much time talking about the freelance workforce. "We keep talking about small business, but we forget the other side of the equation. Who are the people doing the work for these small businesses? According to the poll, some of the top concerns for freelancers include access to credit and tax fairness.
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