The McKinsey Global Institute examines all the ways people are earning income, as well as the challenges independent work presents. Working nine to five for a single employer bears little resemblance to the way a substantial share of the workforce makes a living today. Millions of people assemble various income streams and work independently, rather than in structured payroll jobs. This is hardly a new phenomenon, yet it has never been well measured in official statistics—and the resulting data gaps prevent a clear view of a large share of labor-market activity. To better understand the independent workforce and what motivates the people who participate in it, the McKinsey Global Institute surveyed some 8,000 respondents across Europe and the United States

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