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5 statistics that prove freelancing is on the rise and why

Freelancing is the future, or at least that’s what the stats say. Let’s take a look at five statistics (and the reasoning behind them) from last year’s Freelancing in America survey that proves freelancing is set to take over the United States.

54% of the US workforce feels that the work they do today will not exist after 20 years



Impact of automation on jobs


With the advancements in computer technology, artificial intelligence and robotics are now exceedingly being used to speed up production and decrease failure rates. The automation has lead to thousands of job cuts; leaving many people doubtful for their future. Even those who are working right now aren’t sure of how long their jobs will last into the future before they become automated.


Faced by an uncertain future, Americans are turning to freelance as an alternate career route to make use of their existing skillset. The notion is that if one employer runs out of demand for a skill, there will always be another. The Freelancing in America survey revealed that there are 4.7 million ‘new’ contractors looking for freelancers


55% of the freelancers update their skills every six months


Freelancers update their skills more often than traditional workers


The upsurge in the number of freelancers has resulted in more competition than ever. As a result, freelancers are constantly looking to add on to their existing skillset so as to open up more earning opportunities. In comparison to 30% of the surveyed non-freelancers, 55% of the freelancers took part in a skill-related course in the last six months. The number for freelancers is nearly twice of that of the traditional non-freelancer.


In addition to the ever-increasing competition, the constant upgrades in technology are also a reason why many freelancers have to invest time in learning. For example, those who work as programmers and software engineers have to adapt to new platform releases.


Both a freelancer and a non-freelancer share the common interest of learning. Since a freelancing offers more learning opportunities, many people are opting to become a freelancer.


Freelancers are earning more than ever


Freelancers contributed $1.4 trillion to the US economy in 2017, an increase of 30% in comparison to 2016’s figure. The number of freelancers making over $75,000 has also been increasing over the years. In 2014, 17% of freelancers earned in excess of $75,000; the percentage rose to 21% in 2015, 31% in 2016, and 36% in 2017.


Freelancers make more money than traditional 9-to-5-ers


Over 62% of the freelancers who left their job to freelance said that they earn more now than before.


It’s easy to get hired as a freelancer


Technology is the main driver of freelancing. The internet is the major source of hiring for freelancers nowadays. 59% of the surveyed freelancers claimed to have obtained at least one project online. 71% of freelancers said that the percentage of work they found online increased in 2017.


Freelancers who get hired online mostly work from homes. This saves the worker the time of commute and the stress and charges incurred in doing so. Another benefit of finding work online is that it’s easier and quicker to get started. 77% of the freelancers who found work online got started within a week or less.


Freelancing feels good


Freelancing feels good


People are increasingly starting to freelance by choice. In 2014, 53% of people chose to freelance. That figure increased to 60% in the following year, and to 63% in the subsequent year. Last year, in 2017, the figure remained stagnant at the same number.


People are increasingly taking up freelancing because of the freedom and flexibility that is offered. The only demand of an employer for a freelancer is to get the work done on time. This means the freelancer can allocate time to work as and when they want. They can also work from anywhere, even from the comfort of their home.


Existing freelancers won't go back to doing a traditional job


Freelancing feels so good that half of the freelancers say that they wouldn’t take up a traditional job irrespective of the money they are offered.



57.3 million people are already into freelancing

The growth of freelance workforce is accelerating


As a result of the aforementioned reasons, freelancing is on an unprecedented rise. The survey predicts that by 2027 over half of the US workforce would be into freelancing. Freelancing has only taken off recently. 59% of freelancers started out within the last three years.

It’s evident that the growth of freelancing is not going to slow down anytime soon, in fact, the growth rate will only increase from hereon. We, therefore, conclude that freelancing is the form of work for the future even though some obstacles remain to be looked after.