March 27, 2023


Moving Forward

How And Why The Freelance Workforce Is Setting New Records

The freelance workforce in the U.S. proceeds to increase, playing a much more major function in the overall economy and switching the face of the labor pool.

Which is in accordance to the benefits of a new study unveiled today by the freelance system Upwork. Its 2022 Freelance Forward study recognized traits in the next places:

Yr-About-12 months Advancement

  • 60 million Us citizens carried out freelance perform in the previous 12 months, symbolizing 39% of the U.S. workforce, an all-time superior.
  • Not only is this stable calendar year-about-calendar year advancement, but it is also the greatest proportion due to the fact Upwork commenced monitoring this craze in 2014, according to the firm.

Contribution To The Economic climate

  • Freelancing remains a important aspect of the U.S. labor current market and overall economy: Freelancers contributed $1.35 trillion to the U.S. economic system in yearly earnings in 2022, up $50 billion from 2021.

Shifting Perceptions

  • Perceptions of freelancing carry on to shift: Practically three-quarters of freelancers (73%) say that perceptions of freelancing as a career are turning into additional positive, up from 68% in 2021.


  • Freelancing continues to increase amongst the most educated: 26% of all U.S. freelancers maintain a postgraduate diploma, up from 20% in 2021.

Generational Aspect

  • Gen Z and Millennials are the most possible to investigate freelancing. In 2022, 43% of all Gen Z gurus and 46% of all Millennial specialists performed freelance get the job done.

Understanding Products and services

  • 51% of all freelancers, or practically 31 million industry experts, delivered expertise products and services these types of as computer system programming, promoting, IT, and business consulting this 12 months.

The research was done by impartial research business Edelman Facts & Intelligence, which surveyed 3,000 U.S. doing work grown ups in excess of 18 on the internet concerning September 21, 2022, and Oct 7, 2022. The research has an all round margin of mistake of ±1.8% at the 95% assurance amount.

‘High Stages Of Satisfaction’

Amidst news stories about worker discontent and quits, freelancers keep on to demonstrate significant degrees of gratification with their do the job,” Margaret Lilani, vice president of talent remedies at Upwork, explained by means of e mail.

“We are viewing this important change occur in the workforce wherever remarkably proficient specialists are last but not least questioning areas of the aged, regular strategies of function. It is as if men and women are wanting at freelancers, who have additional versatility and handle, and asking, ‘why just cannot my do the job be like that too?’

“At the same time, freelancers are also viewing [the] rewards of this state of mind change in the workforce. Not only do they feel more optimistic about their options and earning probable, but freelancers also say that the perceptions of freelancing are more beneficial than ever in advance of.”

Why Firms Must Increase Talent Techniques

“Businesses that want to continue to be competitive with the best expertise ought to extend their talent strategies to consist of unbiased industry experts,” Lilani noticed.

“As our study reveals, quite a few persons are seeking control and overall flexibility that common function preparations can not usually afford. Mindsets are modifying all around how they want to do the job, and, as a consequence, lots of gifted and remarkably experienced experts are turning to freelancing. Companies that do not undertake a expertise alternative will skip out on a substantial and growing pool of qualified talent,” she warned.

Cautionary Reminders

The effects of Upwork’s survey deliver excellent and lousy news for corporations and unbiased contractors.

Fantastic News

The great information for companies is that an ever-growing freelance labor pool suggests businesses will have a bigger choice of independent contractors to pick from and operate with.

Before this calendar year, Upwork’s Potential Workforce Report discovered that 69% of selecting administrators predicted hiring more workers in the upcoming six months. At the exact time, however, 60% cited troubles acquiring high-quality talent to fill their open up positions.

Designs for employing more freelancers must be well balanced from current information that the Labor Department has proposed a rule to make it much easier for impartial contractors to be considered employees, which would give them accessibility to gains and federal labor protections. “The proposal would overturn a Trump-era move and restore Obama-period specifications for analyzing no matter if personnel qualify as staff members or unbiased contractors,” the Washington Put up noted.

Undesirable News

The bad news for freelancers is that the continued progress of the freelance workforce implies impartial contractors could face enhanced competitiveness for coveted function assignments. Generating issues even worse, the competencies they have to offer you may perhaps not generally be what possible employers are hunting for.

Previous January, Upwork released an assessment of their most requested positions and competencies. The knowledge was primarily based on gross expert services quantity on their platform from January 1 to October 31, 2021. Just about every talent experienced a minimal of 500 initiatives posted all through that time period. When compared to 2020, Upwork noticed an uptick in desire for techniques like world-wide-web programming (43%), world-wide-web layout (31%) and social media advertising (25%).

Upwork’s Lilani mentioned at the time,” We attribute these adjustments mostly to the ever-transforming priorities of organizations and the modification/maintenance required for their web sites.

“In an at any time-evolving remote functioning globe, these types of professional abilities are turning into progressively critical to retain speed with electronic transformation,” she concluded