Los Angeles is lousy with self-employed entertainment people and creative types who populate cafes at all hours of the day with their laptops, chugging away in the hopes of getting paid on time. Now it seems that very plethora of freelance workers in LA has actually made it the best place in the US for freelancers, at least according to some research by the finance and investing blog NerdWallet. They looked into several factors of freelance-friendliness, focusing on the number of freelance workers in the city, rental housing affordability (Not buying, of course; who the hell can afford to do that?), and affordability and access to healthcare (crucial).
Nearly a fifth of LA households—17.9 percent—reported self-employment income in 2012, according to the census, and NW found the lowest-priced healthcare plan in LA costs $187.73 a month (no word on the details of that plan). Median rent for one person, according to the census, is $1,052 a month. The city also has a lot of resources like co-working spaces, as well as a high quality of life (in the form of great weather) for the freelancers who are already here, most of whom work in entertainment, says the study.
NW did not take into account stuff unions (there are lots of them in the entertainment industry and they make healthcare much more accessible, besides providing a lot of networking and education opportunities) or taxes, which are especially onerous for freelancers (since they don't split them with any of their employers). In the city of Los Angeles, freelancers pay a separate self-employment tax.
· Best Cities for Freelance Workers [NerdWallet]