Freelance Forward 2020
September 23, 2020
A new study Freelance Forward 2020, sponsored by Upwork that traditionally defines US freelancers in broadest terms, has been released. The results are insightful as well as up-to-date. However, if you don’t have time to read the full results deck, here are our highlights:
- The proportion of full-time freelancers in US workforce has risen a bit, to 13%.
- Freelancers report a lower negative impact from COVID-19 compared to non-freelancers on their well-being, lifestyle, mental health, and finance.
- 65% of skilled freelancers who were freelancing pre and during COVID-19 say their hours have either stayed the same or increased since the onset of the pandemic.
- 58% of traditional workers who began working remotely after COVID-19 are considering freelancing in the future. Conversely, 12% of the US workforce began freelancing during the pandemic for the first time.
- Of those who quit their full-time job in order to freelance, 75% say they earn the same or more in pay than when they had a traditional employer.
- Freelancers contributed $1.2 trillion to the US economy in annual earnings, a 22% increase since 2019.
- On average, freelancers spent 25% of their working time on business-building activities, 23% on administrative tasks, and 52% on billable work for clients.
- 47% of freelancers view freelancing as a long-term career choice.
- 65% of freelancers age 55+ see freelancing as a good way to transition into retirement and are less likely to be concerned about saving for retirement than their non-freelancing counterparts.
- Full-time freelancers and those who do skilled work identify themselves as the freelance economy.
- 86% of freelancers say that the best days are ahead for freelancing 💙
Note: The report replaces past surveys Freelancing in America (2014-19) that were co-produced with Freelancers Union, and seem to be discontinued from this year on.
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