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

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.
        • 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

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