How many freelancers are there?

July 16, 2021

Have you ever heard the often-repeated claim that freelancers make up a third of the U.S. workforce? That’s a highly misleading statement based on a super-wide definition of freelance work.

Fiverr’s recent 2021 Freelance Economic Impact Report entitled Sizing the Top Markets for Skilled Freelancers in the U.S. dived into official stats compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. Looking at over 20 million tax returns for non-employer entities with at least $1,000 in annual receipts, they came up with a wholly different number:

“We estimate that there were 6.1 million skilled independent workers in creative, technical, and professional services in the U.S. as of 2020. Altogether, these skilled independents are estimated to earn about 1.1% of the U.S.’s GDP in revenue and make up 3.8% of the civilian labor force.”

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