Future Of Freelancing: Facts And Stats To Inspire You

Freelancing jobs are very popular across the globe. However, a lot of people are confused about the Future of Freelancing and hence are sceptical about it.

If you too are planning to leave your regular job and switch to freelancing you must read these shocking stats in this article. I am sure, this will definitely inspire you to make a move.

A Bit From The History

There was a time when people preferred freelancing for getting extra income over regular Jobs. It was also considered an ideal means of earning pocket-money for students and for housewives to make most of their leisure time.

And there were people for whom freelancing jobs were their bread and butter though they disliked it. Only a few people actually took up freelancing a career by choice.

According to US Government Accountability Office(GOA)  report for the year 1995, there were 32.2% freelancers across the United States out of which daily wage workers formed a major chunk.

This figure had been consistent for the next decade.  In-fact the figures actually declined to 30.6% in 2005 which indicates the fact that people never considered freelancing as their first choice.

Freelancing In The Past Decade

Over the past  decade, things have changed drastically. The recession of 2008, left many people jobless around the Globe. This led people get over the notion that “traditional jobs are secure”.

With a considerable amount of world population left jobless, people started moving towards freelancing to earn their livelihood. Websites like Odesk , Elance and Freelance.com started gaining popularity (Odesk, Elance and Upwork now merged into one entity Upwork.com).

With no earning limits, freelancing became the first preference for many talented individuals who started earning many folds than they could earn with their regular jobs. The success of these people inspired many others to consider the otherwise not-so-obvious choice of taking up freelancing as a career.

Some of them started freelancing with regular jobs while others quit their “not-so-good-paying-jobs” to switch to full-time freelancing which offered better pay rates along with ability to manage one’s time more efficiently. 

According to the latest US GAO report released in May 2015, Freelancers formed 40.4% of the total US workforce. As in the case of earlier US GAO reports, these reports took into account Daily Wage workers too. So the figure may not be very accurate.

The Shocking Facts From The Surveys

 In July 2015, Edelman Berland, an independent research firm released findings of a Survey carried out for Upwork and Freelancers Union. The key findings of this survey is very encouraging for the aspiring freelancers

  1. According to the survey, around 53.7 million Americans are working as freelancers which is around 34% of the total workforce.
  2. Around 60% of Americans who left traditional jobs for a freelance career, now earn more than the traditional jobs. Out of this 78% respondents confirmed that they started earning more than their salary within the first year of switching to freelancing.
  3. 50% of the freelancers said, they would not switch back to traditional jobs no matter how much it paid
  4. 83% freelancers said things will get better from here on with regards to their freelancing career.
  5. 60% freelancers confirmed that they switched to freelancing by choice rather than necessity
  6. 51% of the respondents said they have found freelance jobs online as against 42% in 2014.

The above figures are an indication that freelancing industry is only going to move upwards from here on. If a Report released by Intuit is to be believed, by 2020 around 40% Americans will switch to freelancing. According to various estimates, by 2025, Freelancers will outnumber traditional job seekers.

Traditional Jobs Vs Freelance Jobs

Growth In Developing Nations

The impact of freelancing can be seen more in developing countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Philippines, etc. where the pay scale for regular jobs is abysmal. A large number of people who started as freelancers have established their own company by hiring people locally and are now earning good profits.

With the digitization of the world, it has become relatively easier for people in the developing countries to grab jobs from across the globe. Websites like Upwork and Freelancer have provided them with an ideal platform to make most of their talent.

However, in countries like India, Freelancing is still frowned upon and considered to be for those who are not able to secure a regular job. The lack of knowledge about how and where to get freelance jobs only makes things worse.

In India, there is still a lot of potential to grow as the regular still pay rate is much less than the global standards. The sooner people realize the potential and benefits of freelancing Jobs, the more they can make out of it.

Final Words

With the global economy showing signs of plunging to newer lows, job security with traditional jobs will be a big question. As we have seen during 2008 recession, the freelancing industry is all set to get more competitive this time.

However, due to ever-increasing unemployment in developing countries and the fact that there is still a big gap between the pay scale in developed and developing countries, the developing nations are expected to catch up on the trend this time.

What do you think about Future of Freelancing Industry? Do share your views with us

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Aquif Shaikh
 

Aquif Shaikh is a blogger and an SEO expert from the city of Baroda in India. He is a big-time foodie who loves travelling a lot. At Freelance Biz, he writes mostly about Making Money Online and Freelancing tips. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

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