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National Study Reveals Baby Boomer Surge in Independent Employment

MBO Partners State of Boomer Independence Report Shows Segment is Highly Satisfied, Well Compensated and Growing; Eight Million Boomers Considering Independent Work

HERNDON, VA -- (Marketwire) -- 04/02/12 -- MBO Partners, the leader in the $250-billion and growing independent consulting sector in America, today released for the first time a new, proprietary report on the state of Boomer independent workers in America. The Boomer Report, a newly released phase of MBO's landmark Independent Workforce Index, shines the light for the first time on a pioneering, self-satisfied and growing pool of independent workers, who today account for one-third (5 million) of America's career independents. The Baby Boomer independent group tends to be more satisfied and earns a higher income than their younger counterparts working independently.

"In the face of recent financial uncertainty and a tumultuous job market, many in the Boomer generation have turned adversity into opportunity and taken charge of their lives by working independently," said Gene Zaino, CEO of MBO Partners. "MBO Partners has a front row seat to the rise of Boomer independents -- our own MBO Partners community spans all workforce generations, but over-indexes with Baby Boomer professionals. Expert, passionate, experienced and self-motivated, we find it no surprise that Boomers are leading a surge to independence. Our newly-released report shows that eight million Boomers are considering independent work. We project that within the next two years we will see the Boomer independent workforce grow by an additional 1.2 million."

A High Level of Satisfaction
The report reveals several key factors driving this trend, dispelling a common perception that Boomer independents are a byproduct of job loss during the Great Recession. Most Boomers (59%) actively chose the path to independence, like it and expect to continue in it for a long time. Of all individuals working in this sector they are among the most satisfied (85% report satisfaction and 70% report high satisfaction). The vast majority of Boomers plan to continue work as members of the growing independent workforce over the next three years -- only 8% expect to seek a traditional job.

"After working in corporate America for more than 20 years, I felt I had the skills to go into business for myself," said Marguerite Cole, an MBO Partners Boomer associate. "In 2009, I started my own business as an independent consultant and love being my own boss. With the newfound flexibility and control over my career, it would take quite a lot to bring me back to traditional employment."

The Benefits of Boomer Independence
Boomers enjoy being independent for a number of reasons, including:

  • Freedom and Flexibility: 79% of Boomers cite the freedom independent work offers as a key benefit. What's more, 77% state that freedom and flexibility are more important to them than money.
  • Being the Boss: 61% enjoy the benefits of making their own way, on their own terms with 60% responding they like being their own boss.
  • Making an Impact: 56% feel they have the knowledge base and skill set to make an impact in their field. 66% are college educated, and the median annual income is $77,000.

Facing & Embracing Challenges
Independent work is not without its challenges; 55% of Boomers are concerned about not having a consistent revenue stream and 37% worry about getting their next job. However, for most independents, the benefits of having control over their professional lives far outweigh the challenges.

The Future: More Independence for Boomers
The trend of independent work among the Boomer generation is poised for growth due to a variety of reasons. The high value Boomers place on work/life flexibility is a key driver, along with a strong interest in staying active, challenged and valued. Financial considerations factor into the decision, as well as weakened retirement plans and house values. At the same time, it has never been easier or cheaper to go independent. New technologies such as cloud-based services and mobile devices allow Boomers to quickly set up businesses and work from anywhere. For America's closely watched, much-debated Baby Boom generation, independent work enables new avenues for growth, innovation and influence. Instead of accepting a workforce decline, this generation is again taking charge by leading a new independent workforce boom.

If you are considering whether independent work is right for you, take MBO Partners' new quiz: "Are You Ready To Go Solo," http://info.mbopartners.com/are-you-ready-to-go-solo-quiz.html, and see if you get the green light for independence!

For full details on the report please visit: http://info.mbopartners.com/rs/mbo/images/MBO_Boomer_Report_Final.pdf

About the Study
Independent Workers are defined as people who work at least 15+ hours per week in non-traditional, non-permanent, full or part-time employment and includes workers who identify themselves as independent consultants, freelancers, independent contractors, self-employed, and on-call workers, among others. Two separate online surveys were conducted by Emergent Research (www.emergentresearch.com) and Rockbridge Associates (www.rockresearch.com) in July of 2011. 1144 residents of the U.S. responded to the first survey and the results were used to size the independent workforce and define the interest in becoming an independent worker by the general population. The data were weighted to reflect the demographics of the U.S. and the margin of error for this survey is +/- 3%. 601 Independent Workers responded to the 2nd survey and the results were used to profile their characteristics and motivations. The margin of error for the second survey is +/- 4%. In addition to the surveys, interviews were conducted with Baby Boomer independent workers. These interviews were used to provide qualitative insights on the survey results. All data cited in the study comes from the surveys unless otherwise noted.

About MBO Partners
For more than 25 years, MBO Partners has led the $250 billion-and-growing independent consulting sector in America. Our services make it easy for independent consultants and their clients to do business. For independent consultants, MBO Partners manages their entire business infrastructure. Our platform includes a proprietary process to handle contract administration, business insurances, health and retirement benefits, expense management, tax withholding, and more. We couple this with the benefits of direct vendor access into enterprises and the "white glove" attention of a dedicated business manager for every consultant. For organizations that use contract talent, the MBO Enterprise Solutions team provides a complete independent contractor aggregation and engagement offering, including compliance and payment solutions for 1099s, sole proprietors and micro-businesses. To learn more, visit: http://www.mbopartners.com.

For Additional Information, Please Contact:
MBO Partners Contact
Carolyn Adams
(415) 963-4174 ex.4

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