One area of job quality research that is tangential to the creative economy is research on freelance workers and the gig economy. The National Endowment for the Arts found that “Artists are more than three times as likely as the U.S. workforce to be self-employed (34 percent versus 10 percent).”1
There are pros and cons to self-employment. According to the Freelancers Union’s annual report, “Freelancing in America,” freelancers “feel overwhelmingly positive about their work” and “they are more likely than non-freelancers to feel respected, engaged, empowered, and excited to start each day.”2 But they face many challenges, including access to health care, being paid a fair rate, unpredictable income, and debt.3
Given the high propensity towards freelance work in the creative economy, any solution to improving job quality in the creative economy must address workers as both employees and self-employed operators. This likely means advocating for federal, state, and local shifts in policy, including, for example, health care portability, supplemental insurance, family and sick leave, and support for collecting unpaid invoices.