Amidst tumultuous job market, 59 million Americans work as freelancers

Freelance rates in the United States are stable, contributing $ 1.3 trillion to the economy, according to a new analysis.

According to Upwork’s Freelance Forward: 2021 study of the freelance workforce in the United States, this increase has been fueled by an increase in the number of highly skilled remote freelancers who have given up full-time jobs for options. more flexible work. At the same time, there has been a noticeable decrease in temporary employees and an increase in all other forms of self-employment combined.

According to the study, “a very wide range of tasks classified as independent” compared to a regular job. “Self-employment can range from selling items online once or twice a year to delivering groceries once or twice a month to working full-time as a programmer or accountant.”

According to the study, 59 million Americans worked as freelancers in the previous year, accounting for 36% of total employment in the United States (or more than a third).

According to the study, the percentage of non-temporary freelancers increased from 33.8% to 35% between 2020 and 2021.

Self-employment is increasingly popular among highly skilled workers, according to Prosper the initiate. According to the Upwork survey, 51% of postgraduate employees are now self-employed, up 6% from 2020, while the percentage of high school graduates or less self-employed has increased from 37% in 2020 to 31% this year .

In 2021, skilled remote self-employment increased further. According to the study, in 2021, 53% of all freelancers provided specialist services such as computer programming, marketing, IT and business consulting, up from 50% in 2020.

“For many highly qualified people, self-employment has remained a solid part of the economy and less of a transitory alternative, ”according to the study.

In terms of other characteristics, new freelancers are more likely to be men, city dwellers, and custodians. They are also more full-time, more distant, younger, in hard-hit trades, and in hard-hit trades.

Flexibility and independence are, unsurprisingly, important motivators for new and experienced freelancers. According to the findings of the report:

Career ownership is a high lure for 68% of new freelance respondents, followed by flexibility to work remotely at 54%.

Scheduling flexibility is reported by 78% of experienced remote freelancers, while geographic flexibility is reported as 73%, and self-employment helps them pursue meaningful work by 73%.

Another major factor in self-employment is the fact that in 2021, 44% of self-employed respondents reported making more money as a self-employed person than in a typical job, up from 39% in 2020 and 32% in 2019.

Another great feature is the ability to work from home. According to the study, although 36% of the overall workforce works freelance, 47% of those who work remotely do so. Additionally, 31% of freelancers surveyed said they worked entirely from home.

In terms of earning potential, 44% of self-employed people say they earn more than they would earn working for a typical business, while 18% say they earn as much and 38% say they earn less.

Self-employment has a bright future.

According to the study, 56% of non-self-employed professionals plan to freelance in the future, despite the so-called big resignation.

Nine in ten freelancers believe that the “best days of freelance are yet to come”: according to the survey, two-thirds of freelancers (66%) have a positive opinion of their work in 2022, against 53% of non-freelancers.

Many small business owners are equally optimistic about the future of self-employment, saying the typical 9 to 5 work standards have been put to the test, with many professionals opting for a change.

“Since the epidemic, there has been a resurgence of interest in this way of working, and we expect this trend to continue until 2022 and beyond,” added the study author. “We expect growth to be more job by job than industry by industry.”

Upwork, for example, sees a lot of remote freelance work across all industries in online, mobile, and software development. These talents are in high demand in industries such as manufacturing, retail, and healthcare, among others.

According to the survey, tap into independent sites is a critical approach to freelance success. Before the outbreak, one in four experienced freelancers said they mostly worked through freelance websites.

According to the survey, 91% of freelancers surveyed who used freelance websites before and during the outbreak said they would suggest them because they can find meaningful work, trustworthy clients, and access to tools and tools. resources that help in the management and efficiency of projects.

Between August 27 and September 29, 2021, Upwork conducted an online survey of more than 6,000 U.S. employees aged 18 and over. Among them there were 2,156 independent and 3,844 non-independent.

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