"What if we aren't talking about a jobless recovery? What if we're talking about the emergence of a part-time lifestyle?"
That's the concern of many Americans forced into part-time work by the downturn. It's also the question Julie Ruvolo at Solvate wants to answer. Solvate is a basically a work agency for freelancers. It's a little bit matchmaking (setting up independent workers with companies looking for part-time talent) a little bit agent/middleman (handling payments, guaranteeing quality and skimming a bit off the top of their workers' hourly wage) and very necessary.
Long before the Great Recession decimated payrolls and forced millions of employees into part-time positions, freelancing in America was on the rise. In a 2009 New York Times Magazine piece "The Self-Employment Depression," Emily Bazelon wrote that between 1995 and 2005, the number of self-employed independent contractors grew by 27 percent to almost nine million workers. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in New York City, self-employment accounted for two thirds of the job growth between 1975 and 2007, according to the Chicago Fed. The recession has only expedited the frenzy. In June 2009 a Daily Beast/Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates poll found that "fully one-third of Americans in our survey are now working either freelance or two jobs."