After six months of looking for a full-time job, 49-year-old Emily Cherin found plenty of part-time work through TaskRabbit, an odd-jobs job site.
"Oh my God, it saved me," said the energetic New Jersey native. "My world just sort of exploded."
Cherin is one of an increasing number of Americans who is freelancing. A 2010 survey by Intuit forecast that by 2020, 40 percent of the workforce, or 60 million Americans, will be doing some kind freelance work, up from the current estimate of 33 percent.
A few things are driving the trend toward freelancing. First, established companies in older industries continue to outsource what were formally full-time jobs. Second, the sharing economy is allowing many people to supplement their current incomes, or make a full-time job out of part-time work.
"What we're seeing is that these platforms, these share economy platforms are really changing the structure of business itself," said Sara Horowitz, executive director of the Brooklyn, New York-based Freelancers Union. "What is so clear is that it's now in every sector from finance, to health, to security. Really, you name any kind of business, and this is how the new workforce is being structured."