The Breakdown | Explaining Southern California's economy

Freelancing: The new way to work — if you don't care about getting paid

Freelancing: as a work choice, it's full of ups and downs.
Freelancing: as a work choice, it's full of ups and downs.

Last year, I wrote a bit about the "gig economy" and the joys/frustrations of freelancing. I meant to blow it all up into a larger feature, but things like Occupy Movement and Solyndra hit. 

However, having been a freelancer at times during my career, I keep an eye on the subject. Via Twitter, I found this great infographic that captures the pros and cons of being a Rough Rider.

•Pro: 50 percent of freelancers "saw their incomes increase in the past year"

•Con: The average freelancer was stiffed for $6,000 total, while 8 in 10 freelancers had a employer refuse to pay up

The data sounds accurate to me — in my anecdotal experience, anyway. In the past decade of so, I never got stiffed or had an employer fail to pay. But in the 1990s...well, it happened on several occasions. We were so much younger then...

Interesting datapoint, by the way: 42 percent of Gen Xers find freelancing "popular." That's far higher than Boomers and Millennials. Makes sense, as Boomers are the parents of Millennials, so if job security worked for the parents, that's a value they likely passed on.

For Xers I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Gen Xers are rumored to like their flexibility. BUT Xers in their thirties and forties may have been forced into freelancing by the Great Recession. This would place them in the unhappy realms of the under-employed.

The whole infographic is well worth checking out. And not just for the goofy 1980s-style videogame graphics.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.