Ah, freelancers. If freelancing is a new concept to you, then you have to hop on the bandwagon! It’s taking over the way Americans go about their professional careers.

Out of 329.06 million Americans, a whopping 57 million have done freelance work in 2019! Freelancers even got their own name for this kind of work market - the gig economy. Gig economy statistics suggest that more people are looking for a short-term contract, rather than permanent positions. We’ve gathered some of the most mind-blowing statistics of the high rising freelance market for you:

Fascinating Gig Economy Statistics

  • 57 million Americans freelance.
  • 35% of the U.S. workforce freelanced in 2019.
  • 63% of full-time executives would rather become independent contractors.
  • In 5 years’ time, 52% of Americans will be gig economy workers.
  • 90% of Americans would consider full-time freelancing.
  • 77% of freelancers say that technology has made it easier to find freelance work.
  • 64% of highly educated professionals choose to work remotely.
  • Freelancers contribute $1 trillion to the economy.
  • Freelance legal service experts and advisors earn $225 p/hour.
  • The global gig economy market generated $204 billion gross volume.

Check out the latest freelancer statistics. You’re up for a treat!

Now: 

Freelancing in America

1. 57 Million Americans freelance.

In 2019 a survey concluded that 57 million Americans freelanced as part of their day job. Gig economy platforms have made it easy for digital nomads to find a variety of different jobs online. Back in 2014, 53 million Americans freelanced throughout the year. So that’s 4 million growth in just 5 years!

The current number is expecting to grow even more with the increase in online jobs on demand. 

2. 35% of the U.S. workforce freelanced in 2019.

Out of the nearly 330 million Americans, 50% are currently in the U.S. workforce. Freelance workforce statistics show that 35% of people in the workforce freelanced in 2019. This is a massive number when you consider the size of the U.S. workforce - 157 million Americans.

3. 63% of full-time executives would rather become independent contractors.

With the rise in demand for service-specific contractors and gig economy specialists, many companies are creating jobs for part-time contractors. Being a full-time executive for a successful company can be extremely strenuous. 63% of executives have claimed that they’d rather become part of the gig economy as independent contractors if they were ever given the opportunity. We get that, we truly do.

4. 62% of employees value job security over benefits.

Going into nontraditional employment can be scary. 62% of employees say their job because it gives them a sense of security. Only 23% value benefits such as medical insurance and UIF more. Security always seems to come first.

5. In 5 years’ time, 52% of Americans will be freelancers.

Freelance statistics predict that out of the estimated 160 million Americans in the workforce, 52% will become part of the gig economy. Many individuals have found freedom in doing gig economy jobs from home. It is much easier to find a balance between work and personal life when you have flexible freelance work. 

6. 90% of Americans would consider full-time freelance work.

90% of currently permanently employed Americans would rather want to be part of the gig economy. This percentage is even higher in countries like India and Mexico. 97% of the people there would rather freelance part-time or do independent contract work. 80% of French employees, 75% of German and Netherlands employees, and 70% of Japanese employees would also consider full-time freelance work. 

7. 40% of employers can’t find relevant skills in their permanent employees.

40% of employers need to advertise remote independent contractor jobs when they are in need of skill-specific employees. It has become evident that individuals in permanent jobs don’t get the opportunity to learn new skills. Kinda ironic, given that 65% of young millennials claim that they can do jobs that don’t even exist yet. 80% of gig economy employees say that they can learn and use new skills doing part-time freelancing. Taking advantage of freelance jobs from top gig economy companies, give freelancers the opportunity to learn valuable skills. 

8. 77% of freelancers say that technology has made it easier to find freelance work.

The freelance job market has changed drastically over the last 3 years. The gig economy jobs list has become even greater. Employers are looking for more skill-specific contractors, rather than full-time staff. Jobs for independent workers are advertised on a variety of freelance job websites. In the past, it was difficult for full-time freelancers to find jobs. But in recent years technology has made it easier. 77% of freelancers run to the internet to find and apply for jobs. 

9. 64% of highly educated professionals choose to work remotely.

In the past, there were a lot of misconceptions about freelance work.It was widely considered that freelances were only in the creative fields OR just people without a job.Well, this misconception has changed in recent years. With the freelancer economy growing, 64% of professionals are choosing to work independently. These professionals are usually highly skilled in their areas of expertise and typically at the top of their game. 

10 . Average annual income for freelance writers is $63,488.

Freelance statistics prove that full-time freelance writers can earn up to $63,488 per year. With an hourly rate of $21 per hour, full-time freelance writers can make a decent living. Highly skilled writers work between 36-40 hours per week at an hourly rate of as much as $40 per hour. This rate is higher than the average salary for regular employees.

This kinda makes us think if security is really that important to us... 

11. Freelancers contribute $1 trillion to the economy.

Freelancers contribute a whopping 5% to the U.S. Gross Domestic Profit. With average freelance rates of $18.80 per hour, freelancers contribute $1 trillion dollars to the American economy. This percentage is predicted to grow even more in the future. 

12. Average income for U.S. freelancers is $64,000.

The average income for freelancers in a variety of different tech-based fields is $64,000 annually. What’s even greater is that most freelancers don’t have to spend any extra dollars on office rental spaces. If full-time freelancers don’t want to work from home they can set up shop in a coworking environment with other freelancers. This will cost them a small fee of about $3 p/day depending on where the office is located.  

13. The main reason for freelancing is flexibility.

Freelance statistics show that the main reason why people decide to move from permanent jobs to freelancing is flexibility. 46% of current freelancers in the USA and globally say that they prefer part-time freelancing to permanent jobs. They might have medical issues that don’t allow them to work a typical 9-5 job. Or that they can’t work within traditional employment structures. 71% of freelancers enjoy the freedom the gig economy gives them. 

14. 7 in 10 people would move out of the city.

If you could live anywhere in the world, would you really live in the city? 7 in 10 people state that they would want to move out of the city, and live somewhere a bit quieter. That is if the opportunities were the same. 

One of the most on-demand labor freelancing gigs is a legal service expert and advisor. When you have the relevant training and skills you can earn up to $225 per hour. Other high paying jobs go-to software development and implementation at $220 per hour. Accounting and bookkeeping are at $215 per hour, and applied behavioral analysis at  $195 per hour. 

16. Airbnb is one of the top gig economy companies, worth $38 billion.

In 2007, two friends accidentally found the groundbreaking home rental company name Airbnb. Today it gives freelancers the freedom to make extra cash while renting out rooms in their homes. It has a net worth of $38 billion. Over the last couple of years the online workspace for freelancers, Upwork has gained extreme popularity. Upwork statistics shows that it has 12 million registered freelancers and a whopping 5 million registered clients.  The site receives 3 million job postings annually. The company is currently worth $1 billion. Short on its heels is the popular online freelance app Fiverr. The online freelance service is worth $874 million. Other professional service apps include Guru and Catalant.

Other sectors include ride-sharing, and carpooling with Uber, Doordash, Careem, and BlaBlaCar being frontrunners. Care.com, Etsy, and Airtasker are market-leading online apps that allow freelancers to sell handmade goods and household services.  

17. 44% of freelancer’s primary source of income is from the gig economy.  

Gig economy statistics from 2019 proves that 44% of freelancers are dependent on the income they make from freelancing. Even though 56% of workers have other part-time or full-time jobs while they freelance. They mostly enjoy the flexibility that comes with freelancing.

18. 53% of full-time freelancers are between 18-24 years.

Freelance statistics show that 53% of freelancers are Gen Z. These are individuals born between 1995 - 2019. Freelancing is very appealing to this generation because it gives them the freedom to travel and not be committed to one location. 40% of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996), 31% of Gen X (born between 1965 - 1994), and 29% of Baby Boomers (born between 1944-1964) make out the other percentages of the freelance workforce. Each doing their part in the rapid growth of the freelance economy. 

19. The global gig economy market generated $204 billion gross volume.

Gig economy research by Mastercard has proven that the digital gig economy generated a massive $204 billion in gross volume in 2018. 58% of this value was generated by transportation-based services that include app jobs like uber. Gig economy transactions are projected to grow rapidly by a 17% CAGR. And reach a gross volume of $455 billion by 2023. 

20. 40% of the global economy gross volume is generated in the U.S.

Freelancing in America is much bigger than anywhere else in the world. Therefore, American Freelancers are responsible for 40% of the global gig economy gross volume. This doesn’t only refer to freelancers, but also the employers who contract freelancers and pay them through international payment systems. 

Conclusion

Looking at the above gig economy statistics, it’s evident that the way US citizens are approaching 9-5 jobs is changing. With a global value of billions of dollars, millennials are seeking more flexible job opportunities. 

When you have to define gig economy, you have to take into account the high percentage of the U.S. workforce that makes a part of it. It is rapidly changing into a market that provides many freelancers with a primary income as well as the freedom to work from home or coworking spaces. 

Gig economy statistics suggest that within only a few years, the global market will be worth almost double as much as it is now. When you follow gig economy trends in 2020, whether you are a full-time freelancer or a business executive, your professional career will reach higher levels.