Aggregate of Freelance Economy Statistics

Most Commonly Used Stats

  • The freelance economy is a $5.4 trillion dollar market (SIA) – “The global gig economy posted an estimated $5.4 trillion in revenue in US dollars during 2021″.

  • 33 million people performed contingent work in the US last year (SIA), 86.5 MIL. Of the US workforce will be independent freelancers by 2027 (STATISTA)

  • global freelance platforms market size was valued at USD 4.39 billion in 2022 and expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% from 2023 to 2030

  • 33% of  work was being performed by external workers (MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, 2023)

  • 86% of global business leaders said the effective management of external contributors was critical to their organization’s overall performance (MIT Sloan, April 2023)

  • 90% of leaders are prioritizing independent workers (HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW)

  • 60% of executives say they will substantially replace full time employees with independent workers in the next 3 years (MERCER)

  • In Q4 of 2022, 40% of companies are hiring contractors to replace laid off workers and 53% moved full-time workers to contract positions (RESUME BUILDER).
  • 27% YoY Growth in $100k+ freelancers, MBO Partners
  • 51% of freelancers say no amount of money would convince them to return to a traditional job

Freelance Economy Data

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  • Freelance Marketplace Related
    • Grand View Research
      • global freelance platforms market size was valued at USD 4.39 billion in 2022
      • expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% from 2023 to 2030
      • What skills are growing the most?
        • project management segment led the market and accounted for more than 24.3% share of the global revenue in 2022.
        • the services segment, which Grand View defines as “a range of technological and managed services that pertain to different aspects of freelance work, making it easier for freelancers to connect with clients and providing clients with the necessary tools and support to collaborate with freelancers successfully”, has the highest CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 18.1%

        • second highest growth, web & graphics segment is anticipated to grow at a considerable CAGR of 19.2%
      • What regions are growing the most?
        • North America led with a revenue share of 31.6% in 2022
        • Second, Asia Pacific is expected to grow notably with a CAGR of 18.7%.
    • Jon Younger, The Middle East Is Fast Becoming A Leader In The Freelance Revolution
      • A 2022 survey led by Middle East recruiter Bayt, reported by Arab News, noted that 70% of MENA employers planned to hire freelancers and about 78% of workers intended to more actively freelance on a part-time basis
  • Freelancer Related

    • Why do freelancers freelance?

      • According to Flexjobs:

        • 62% of survey respondents said that the flexibility of work schedules was a significant factor in their decision to freelance

        • 56% of respondents to the FlexJobs survey said the general concept of having freedom to make choices that suit their lives was a huge reason to freelance

    • Growth of the freelance economy?

      • According to MBO’s The Great Realization

        • Number of Freelancers grew 34%, from 38.2 million to 51.1 million.

        • 68% of newcomers were Gen Z or millennials, and 55% of newcomers were female

        • 66% of full time freelancers believe they are more secure than traditional workers

        • 78% Say they are healthier working independently

      • According to Statista

        • by 2027, 86.5 million people will be freelancing in the United States, the research firm predicts, with freelancers making up 50.9% of the total U.S. workforce

      • According to Business News Daily

        • Freelancers earn more than average workers

        • 44% of freelancers made more money than they did when employed at a traditional job

    • According to Upwork’s Freelance Forward Economist Report

      • Freelancers contributed $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy in annual earnings.

      • 53% of all freelancers provided skilled services such as computer programming, marketing, IT, and business consulting in 2021, up from 50% in 2020

      • 56% of non-freelancers say they are likely to freelance in the future

      • 9 in 10 freelancers believe that the “best days are ahead” for freelancing; Two-thirds (67%) say they are optimistic about their career in 2022, compared to 58% non-freelancers


    • According to Jon Younger and the University of Toronto’s Global Survey On Freelancing

      • 69% of freelancers are loyal to one or two platforms rather than several

      • 30% of freelancers struggle, with 34% of freelancers worrying about their financial performance

    • According to HBS’s Building The On-Demand Workforce

      • Almost 90% of business leaders stated that “talent platforms would be somewhat or very important to their organization’s future competitive advantage”

    • Main challenges of freelancing?

  • Freelance Acquisition Related

    • Paro, finance/accounting freelance platform, raised $25m.

    • Stoke Talent was acquired in under 2 years by Fiverr for $95m.

    • Braintrust, freelance platform that brands itself a ‘web 3 job board’ raised $100 million through it’s own tokens.

    • Superside, the closest thing to Uber for freelance design services, raised $30 million.

    • We Are Rosie, marketing freelance platform, raised at a $100m valuation after growing by 556% in the last year.

  • Remote/Hybrid Work Related

    • From Distributed:

      • 90% of employees want continued flexibility in where and when they work

      • 68% of employees would choose remote working options over in-office work

      • 61% of employees would be willing to take a pay cut to maintain remote working status

      • just 15% of workers would apply for a position that requires total full-time office work

    • Jason Calcanis LinkedIn Survey

      • 63% said they should embrace a hybrid return to the office where employees choose remote or in-office

    • ~60% of venture capital firms plan to keep a hybrid work model, while just 6% are mandating a return to full-time work in the office.

    • American Express gives employees the freedom to work from wherever they want for up to four weeks per year through the “Amex Flex” plan

    • Almost 15% of high-paying job listings are now remote. According to Dan Pink, “that would have been *unthinkable* in October 2019”.

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  • Great Resignation Related

  • Upskilling Related
    • In Deloitte’s Perspective on the future of shared services, they state, “The alternative workforce tends to update their skills more frequently and can typically ramp up within days rather than weeks”.
    • 60% of freelancers have updated their skills in the past 6 months, compared to 49% of traditional employees who have updated their skills in the past 12 months.

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