• WisBusiness

Friday, August 2, 2013

Henry Schienebeck: Independent contractors a valuable asset to Wisconsin's economy


By Henry Schienebeck
Across the great state of Wisconsin there are thousands of independent contractors working hard to provide for their families while contributing to our local economy. You may know them as hair stylists, software engineers, loggers, package delivery drivers, even emergency room physicians. Whatever they and many others like them do, there is one thing they all have in common: they are doing their best to make a living for their families. And in many cases they are creating much-needed jobs for others.

Recently, a national coalition called It's My Business launched to help provide a voice for the millions of people who have decided to be their own bosses and build their own businesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 82 percent of independent contractors prefer this arrangement for making their living as opposed to being an employee. And the Pew Research Center reports that 39 percent of self-employed workers are "completely satisfied" with their jobs compared to 28 percent of workers in wage or salary jobs.

At a time when the workforce is changing, it is critical to raise awareness about the contributions of independent contractors to our economy.

Independent contractors are virtually everywhere – in every city and town in this state. There are more than 10 million of them across the United States – making up more than 7 percent of the total workforce. They are essential to our economy, accounting for $473 billion in personal income, or one out of every 10 dollars earned across the nation.

Beyond the individual advantages for independent contractors, many are expanding their independent contractor status into small businesses that create jobs for others. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, small companies – many of them coming from independent contracting beginnings – create three out of every four new jobs. They are critical to job growth and economic recovery.

Yet despite the crucial role of independent contractors within our economy, the federal government is working to make it more difficult for them to grow and prosper. Recently, $25 million was allocated for a joint IRS – U.S. Department of Labor initiative aimed at taking away the independent contractor status that enables so many hard-working Americans to thrive by reclassifying them as employees. Of course, Washington prefers to target these small, independent businesses because they are easier to prosecute than larger companies with greater access to legal resources.

There's no question that independent contractors should obey all laws and pay taxes as required. But broad-scale attempts to reclassify independent contractors in an effort to turn them into rank-and-file company employees is harmful to those who play by the rules.

America's entrepreneurial freedom makes our economy the envy of the world. The hard-working people of Wisconsin should be free to pursue jobs that fit their needs and their lifestyles, especially when their prosperity benefits us all. That is what It's My Business is committed to protecting and that is why the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association has signed on to this important effort. To learn more about the coalition and how to be involved, please visit www.itsmybusiness.com.

-- Schienebeck is the executive director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association.

Labels:


Comments: 0

Post a Comment

Back to BizOpinion main page

: See newer blog items : : See older blog items :

BizOpinion site feed
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

wisbusiness.com Social News

Follow Us

Site Sponsors

ARCHIVE

· January 2009
· February 2009
· March 2009
· April 2009
· May 2009
· June 2009
· July 2009
· August 2009
· September 2009
· October 2009
· November 2009
· December 2009
· January 2010
· February 2010
· March 2010
· April 2010
· May 2010
· June 2010
· July 2010
· August 2010
· September 2010
· October 2010
· November 2010
· December 2010
· January 2011
· February 2011
· March 2011
· April 2011
· May 2011
· June 2011
· July 2011
· August 2011
· September 2011
· October 2011
· November 2011
· December 2011
· January 2012
· February 2012
· March 2012
· April 2012
· May 2012
· June 2012
· July 2012
· August 2012
· September 2012
· October 2012
· November 2012
· December 2012
· January 2013
· February 2013
· March 2013
· April 2013
· May 2013
· June 2013
· July 2013
· August 2013
· September 2013
· October 2013
· November 2013
· December 2013
· January 2014
· February 2014
· March 2014
· April 2014
· May 2014
· June 2014
· July 2014
· August 2014
· September 2014
· October 2014
· November 2014
· December 2014
· January 2015
· February 2015
· March 2015
· April 2015
· May 2015
· June 2015
· July 2015
· August 2015
· September 2015
· October 2015
· November 2015
· December 2015
· January 2016
· February 2016
· March 2016
· April 2016
· May 2016
· July 2016
· August 2016
· October 2016
· December 2016
Copyright ©2013 WisBusiness.com All rights reserved. | WisOpinion.com | WisPolitics.com  |  Website development by wisnet.com LLC  | Website design by Makin’ Hey Communications