Freelance Statistics 2024 By Work, Growth, Platform

Tajammul Pangarkar
Tajammul Pangarkar

Updated · May 3, 2024

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Freelance Statistics: Freelancing has grown in popularity in recent years, with many professionals choosing to work independently. Furthermore, as the world suffers from the recession many people are considering freelancing.

According to a recent Fiverr report, 71% of US professionals are planning to freelance in 2023. 31% of freelancers earn $75,000 a year, so it is not an ideal plan to side hustle!

Key Freelance Statistics

  • Business Process Outsourcing Market size is expected to be worth around USD 739.4 Billion by 2033, from USD 315.2 Billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 8.9% during the forecast period from 2024 to 2033.
  • As of 2023, there will be over 1.57 billion freelancers worldwide.
  • In the United States, there are approximately 73.3 million freelancers.
  • According to industry estimates, the global freelance business is worth $1.5 trillion and growing at a 15% CAGR.
  • For independent marketers, the most in-demand expertise is social media marketing.
  • In the United States, 71% of employees intend to freelance by 2023.
  • By 2028, the number of freelancers in the United States is expected to reach 90.1 million.
  • Google has 54% more freelancers than permanent employees (46%).
  • In 53% of cases, Generation Z chose freelancing.
  • Upwork has almost 12 million registered freelancers. As of 2023, it will be the largest platform for freelancers.
  • Web design is an extremely in-demand freelance technical skill.
  • The most in-demand freelance marketing talent is social media marketing.
  • Most independent contractors obtain new clients through networking and personal ties.
  • According to Freelance Statistics, Freelance writers earn roughly $42,000 per year.
Business Process Outsourcing Market

Number of Freelancers in the USA

  • As of 2023, there will be approximately 73.3 million freelancers in the United States.
  • The number of freelancers in the United States is expected to grow to 79.6 million by 2025 and to 90.1 million by 2028.
Number Of Freelancers in United States

Freelancers in The United States by Generation

According to Freelance Statistics by Statista, younger generations are increasingly considering freelancing as a realistic career route. The accessibility of technology, as well as the demand for adaptability, freedom, and meaning in one’s work, may be factors contributing to this trend.

  • 50% of Gen Z (ages 18-22) respondents did freelance employment.
  • 44% of Millennials (ages 23-38) did freelance employment.
  • The number of freelancers is likely to grow further in the coming year.

Popular Freelance Jobs

Though the freelancing industry has traditionally been dominated by artists and people in the creative field, the number of jobs and the demand for freelancers appears to be increasing regularly.

These are the most common freelancing jobs on the market in 2023.

  • One of the most common freelancing vocations is content creation.
  • On Upwork, graphic designers can earn up to USD 150 per hour on average, making the design more profitable than regular content writers.
  • The majority of freelancers in the United States work in the creative industry.
  • 75% of workers in the art and design profession are freelancers.
  • In the entertainment industry, 55% of workers are freelancers in the United States.
  • Construction is another industry with a majority of its personnel working as freelancers (55%).
  • One of the top 15 in-demand talents for Upwork freelancers in web design.
  • SEO consulting is an excellent alternative for freelancers aiming for long-term success, as it can lead to the creation of your SEO agency and other opportunities.
  • SEO consulting, ad management, direct response copywriting, software development, and sales and lead generation are the highest-paying freelancing occupations.
  • Instagram marketing, brand planning, and AI (development) are among the most sought-after abilities for freelancing jobs.

How Much Are Freelancers Earning in 2023?

  • The hourly salary for a freelance writer is generally between $30 and $40, or $42,000 per year.
  • A freelance data analyst makes $55-$65 per hour, or $100,000 per year.
  • Freelance editors often earn $25 to $35 per hour, with an annual pay of around $40,000 on average.
  • A typical freelance developer earns $60-70 per hour and $120,000 per year.
  • According to Freelance Statistics, The average freelance photographer earns between $35 and $45 per hour, for a total annual salary of $42,000.
  • The average freelance developer earns between $50 and $60 per hour, for a yearly pay of almost $1 million.
  • The average self-employed digital marketer earns $50 per hour and $1 million per year.
  • As freelancers, mobile app developers frequently earn between $55 and $65 per hour or $1 million per year.
  • Freelance transcriptionists frequently make $20 to $25 per hour or $32,000 per year.
  • The average annual pay for an independent graphic designer is roughly $90,000.

(Sources: Upwork)

How Do Freelancers Get Paid?

Freelancers are compensated for their efforts. It is vital to understand that freelancing results in irregular payment schedules. If a freelancer does not work, they will not get paid.

  • Hourly Pay: A freelancer is paid an agreed-upon rate per hour for their work.
  • Monthly Pay: A freelancer receives a regular payment based on the amount of work they are anticipated to complete in a month.
  • Project Basis: A freelancer is paid on a project basis for finishing an assignment with a specific scope and timeframe.

When it comes to freelancing as a content writer one potential limitation is the lack of payment flexibility. While some clients may prioritize quality and pay accordingly others may simply base payment on word count alone.

Freelancer Earning Statistics

  • Male freelancers typically earn more money than females. A female freelancer earns 84% of what a male freelancer earns.
  • 30% of freelancers get paid on an hourly basis.
  • 65% of freelancers earn more than they would in a conventional job.
  • Freelance income is highest in northeastern states such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.
  • In the previous year, over 10% of Americans reported using a digital platform to do freelance work for money.
  • Rather than committing to a single organization, freelancers typically earn money by completing projects or assignments for a variety of businesses.
  • In 2018, freelancers in the United States earned about $1 trillion, or 5% of the country’s GDP. After the pandemic, the figure has risen even higher.
  • The global average for freelancers is $19 per hour.
  • Upwork freelance content writers often earn between $10 and USD 80 per hour.
  • On Upwork, the average hourly compensation for freelance graphic designers is $45.

(Sources: Upwork, DDIY, Pew Research, Forbes, Skill Scouter)

Below are the top 10 freelancing skills required in the technical field:

  • Java Script
  • Web design.
  • WordPress.
  • Web programming.
  • JavaScript.
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).
  • Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP).
  • Website Development.
  • Application Programme Interface (API).

What Are the Most Valuable Freelance Customer Service Skills?

Customer service is the most important skill for a freelancer who wants to work in the customer service industry.

The following are the top nine freelancing customer service competencies:

  • Customer support.
  • Email communication.
  • Email support.
  • Phone support.
  • Communication etiquette.
  • Online chat support.
  • Answering product questions.
  • Data entry.
  • Administrative support.

In the United States, programmers, data analysts, and mobile developers earn up to $120,000 per year on average. (Source: Upwork)

The demand for skilled independent contractors is increasing. The percentage of freelancers working in specialized services (computer programming, marketing, IT, and business consulting) increased from 50% to 53% between 2020 and 2021.

Overall, more knowledgeable and skilled freelancers earn more money.

Freelance Statistics

Programmers in the United States receive the highest average compensation of $60-70 per hour, with an annual salary of roughly $120,000. Data analysts and mobile developers earn between $55 and $65 per hour, with an annual compensation of $100,000.

Freelance Statistics

Regional Freelancing Statistics

Here’s a list of the top 10 countries for freelancers and year-over-year earnings growth rates.

  • United States (78%)
  • United Kingdom (59%)
  • Brazil (48%)
  • Pakistan (47%)
  • Ukraine (36%)
  • Philippines (35%)
  • India (29%)
  • Bangladesh (27%)
  • Russia (20%)
  • Serbia (19%)
Freelance Statistics

The Ten Most In-Demand Freelance Marketing Skills Statistics

The following are the top ten most in-demand skills for freelance marketers:

  • Social media marketing
  • Lead generation
  • Facebook
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Business-2-Busniess marketing
  • Instagram marketing
  • Marketing strategy
  • SMM – Social media management
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing research

(Source: TechRepublic)

What Effect Will the Covid-19 Pandemic Have on Freelancing?

  • Since the pandemic began, 8.2 million freelancers have entered the workforce in the United States.
  • Since the pandemic, the number of young freelancers has increased.
Distribution of freelancers based on their generation
  • 96% of fresh freelancers intend to expand their independent jobs in the future.
  • After the outbreak began, 28% of freelancers quit their jobs.
  • 82% of independent contractors work from home.
  • 48% of recent freelancers consider their job as a long-term commitment.
  • The global coronavirus outbreak has cost 52% of freelancers their jobs.
  • As a result of COVID-19, over 33% of independent freelancers had their hourly rate reduced.

(Sources: SHRM, Upwork, Forbes)

Statistics on Freelance in General

  • In the United States, 70% of small and medium-sized enterprises have used freelancers at least occasionally.
  • 61% of freelancers say they do it voluntarily.
  • Approximately half of all freelancers hold advanced degrees.
  • For 51% of workers, working at home has enhanced productivity.
  • Singapore, New Zealand, Spain, Australia, and Denmark are the top five nations for freelancers to live in.
  • The majority of freelancers work between 30 and 50 hours per week.

Google’s workforce includes more freelancers than full-time workers.

in March 2019, Google’s workforce included 120,000 contractors/freelancers, which was higher than the 102,000 permanent employees on the payroll.

Google’s workforce of 22,000 workers

According to freelancer salary statistics, there will be more freelancers in the IT domain shortly.

  • The United States has the fastest-growing freelancing economy, with revenue increasing by 78% year on year.
  • Freelancers have access to specialist software that allows them to be more efficient in managing their duties and work from beginning to conclusion. [free software or freemium at a low cost]
  • Direct response (DR) advertising copywriting, ad management, SEO consulting, programming, generating leads, and sales are the highest-paying freelance skills today.
  • The earning potential for freelancers in specialized roles is significantly larger than in general roles – software developers can make up to USD 1,000/hr.
  • As a result, one of the top two careers for new freelancers is technology. Finance/business operations is the other.
  • Discrimination against women is not uncommon, even in today’s progressive freelancing environment. Male freelancers might earn up to four times as much as female freelancers.

(Source: Forbes)

Significant Global Freelance Platforms Statistics

The trending freelancing platforms are listed below in order of growth rate and market size capture.

  • Flexiple
  • Upwork
  • Turing.com
  • Freelancer.com
  • PeoplePerHour
  • Arc.Dev
  • Toptal
  • TaskRabbit
  • 99Designs
  • WriterAccess
  • Gigster
  • Designhil

Upwork Statistics

  • The overall revenue for Upwork in 2022 is $618 million. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the platform’s revenue increased by 23%.
  • In 2021, Upwork’s annual revenue was $503 million.

Here is a table showing Upwork’s Annual revenue since 2016:

Upwork’s Annual Revenue
  • Upwork’s Gross Services Volume (GSV) exceeded $1027 million in the third quarter of 2022, representing a 14% year-on-year rise.
  • 47% of consumers who bought a project from the Project Catalog afterward bought something comparable on Upwork.
  • In the third quarter of 2022, Upwork will have over 818,000 Active Clients.

(Sources: Macrotrends, Upwork Quarterly Report)

Upwork’s Annual Revenue

Coworking Statistics

Coworking is a shared workspace for freelancers and remote employees. Separate desks and cabins, conference rooms, open casual office space, and other elements may be included.

The goal of coworking is to provide access to a professional and collaborative workplace for folks who might otherwise work from home or a coffee shop.

It may also allow for networking and the development of a sense of community among those who hold similar beliefs. Since we’re discussing freelancing, we should also include coworking places.

The following are some noteworthy statistics about coworking in 2023:

  • In the world, 42% of the individuals working in coworking spaces are freelancers.
  • In the United States, there are around 6200 coworking spaces.
  • In the United States, almost 900,000 people use coworking spaces.
  • There are almost 20,000 coworking spaces available worldwide.
  • WeWork is the world’s largest provider of coworking spaces. They have a global presence at over 320 sites.
  • It is anticipated that 3.94 million people will use coworking spaces globally by 2023.
  • 35% of coworking space employees are from the IT sector.

Freelancer.com Statistics

  • Freelancer.com receives 6.7 million monthly visitors.
  • Freelancer.com has over 1,800 distinct work categories.
  • The most popular in India is Freelancer.com.
  • Freelancer.com has established itself as an expert outsourcing marketplace.
  • Ethereum-related projects have increased by 335% on Freelancer.com.

Fiverr Statistics

  • Fiverr’s revenue in 2021 was $297.66 million.
  • Currently, there are approximately 3 million active vendors on Fiverr.
  • The website of Fiverr receives approximately 50 million monthly visitors.
  • There are already over 550 categories on Fiverr.
  • According to the Q1 2022 press release, Fiverr presently has buyers in more than 160 countries.

Future of Freelancing (2023 and Beyond)

We are currently in 2023, and the stats for freelancing are shifting rapidly. Let’s take a look at the future of the freelancing sector.

  • Permanent remote employment will account for an average of 34.4% of firm workforces. As a result, remote work will more than double from 16.4% to more than twice as much as it was before the epidemic.
  • The coronavirus outbreak increased freelance job postings by 41%. Even though the lockdown is no longer in effect, the gig economy is still thriving.
  • There will most likely be 350 million gig workers in India by 2025. The gig economy in India is expected to reach $455 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 17%.

Recent Developments

New Platforms and Tools:

  • Several new digital platforms tailored for freelancers have emerged, focusing on improving job-matching accuracy and enhancing project management capabilities. These platforms leverage advanced AI algorithms to match freelancers with projects that align with their skills and experience.

Growth in Freelance Marketplaces:

  • Existing freelance marketplaces have expanded their services globally, targeting emerging markets where freelance work is becoming increasingly popular. This expansion is supported by additional language options and local currency support to accommodate a wider range of freelancers.

Increased Investment in Freelancer Resources:

  • Investment in resources and tools designed to support freelancers, such as educational webinars, skill development courses, and digital tools for managing business operations, has seen a significant increase. These resources aim to help freelancers enhance their skills and manage their projects more efficiently.

Rising Demand for Niche Skills:

  • The demand for freelancers with niche skills, particularly in fields like cybersecurity, blockchain, and AI, continues to grow. This trend is driving higher rates and better job security for freelancers who specialize in these high-demand areas.

Conclusion

Freelance Statistics – Many workers are opting to work individually from home as freelancers, and the tendency is rapidly expanding.

Individuals are given the independence they seek, and better work is possible. Freelancers can be more productive by working outside of the usual 9 to 5 schedule.

As more people choose to earn a living from home, businesses need to change to maintain their place in the workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top freelancing platforms?

According to Freelance Statistics, Among the top freelancing platforms are Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, Toptal, and Guru. Each platform has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s critical to select the one that best suits your needs and skill set.

What are the benefits of freelancing?

The option to work on your terms, adaptability, the potential for increased revenue, and the opportunity to work on a range of projects and with different clients are all advantages of freelancing.

What are the biggest challenges faced by freelancers?

Finding consistent employment, managing cash flow, interacting with clients, and remaining inspired and efficient while working alone are some of the most difficult problems that freelancers confront.

Which industries are most popular among freelancers?

IT and programming, graphic design, writing and content production, marketing and social media, and administrative assistance are the most common industries for freelancers.

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Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar is a CMO at Prudour Pvt Ltd. Tajammul longstanding experience in the fields of mobile technology and industry research is often reflected in his insightful body of work. His interest lies in understanding tech trends, dissecting mobile applications, and raising general awareness of technical know-how. He frequently contributes to numerous industry-specific magazines and forums. When he’s not ruminating about various happenings in the tech world, he can usually be found indulging in his next favorite interest - table tennis.