I’ve written before about how the small business haters have it all wrong. Now comes a study that puts new economic muscle behind this assertion, revealing that solopreneurs and other independent workers generated over one trillion dollars in income in the past year. That’s a lot of revenue, a lot of purchasing power, and a lot of tax dollars into local and national coffers.

And it’s also no surprise in today’s sharing economy, which as Emergent Research’s Steve King points out is far more about selling than warm-and-fuzzy sharing per se.

Here’s a quick snapshot of MBO Partners 2013 report, The State of Independence in America:

 

Infographic: America's Independents

 

And here are four facts that really stood out:

1. Four in 10 Americans are now or have been independent at some point in their careers.

2. Independence is a structural shift. The sector is growing, and “independent workers are clearly significant players in the U.S. workforce and create work opportunities for themselves rather than relying on traditional employment avenues.”

3. Independents hire other independents. Although most independent workers are solopreneurs, “they don’t work alone. Over the past year, 26 percent of independent workers spent a total of $96 billion hiring the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers via contract hiring.”

4. Yes, you can be independent and an entrepreneur. According to the report, “close to 2.5 million independent workers plan to launch larger businesses. These nascent entrepreneurs will build businesses that will create additional traditional jobs and spur greater economic activity.”

The complete report is worth a look. Plus MBO Partners has put together some great infographics and other resources on its site.