The Truth About Freelancing

You may think freelancers are like consultants. People who say they work as a freelancer or consultant are really just unemployed. Yes, I’ve actually had someone tell me that when I told them I was a digital marketing consultant. However, there is a lot more to freelancing and being a consultant then you might think.

  • There are 53 million people doing freelance work in the US – 34% of the national workforce
  • People who freelance contribute an estimated $715 billion in freelance earnings to our economy
  • Twice as many freelancers have seen an increase in demand in the past year as having seen a decrease – 32% experienced an increase versus 15% who have seen a decrease
  • 80% of non-freelancers say they would be willing to do work outside their primary job to make more money
  • Earning extra money (but not financial necessity) and schedule flexibility are the top drivers of freelancing
  • Finding work and, correspondingly, income stability are the top barriers to doing more freelancing work
  • 69% of freelancers said technology has made it easier to find freelance work
  • 77% of freelancers say the best days are yet ahead for freelancing
  • 65% said freelancing as a career path is more respected today than it was three years ago
  • 36% of moonlighters who have a primary job have thought about quitting to work completely independently
  • There are 1.4 million British freelancers working across all sectors
  • This has grown 14% in the past decade
  • The flexibility offered by Britain’s freelancers is worth £21 billion to the UK economy in added value2
  • 78% of the UK public think that freelancing and flexible working help promote a good work/life balance
  • 72% think freelancing has a positive effect on family life
  • Freelancing is now seen as a highly attractive and lucrative career option by 87% of students with first or second class degrees
  • This compares to 77% of those with lower class degrees.
  • 21% of graduates with first class honors say they have already chosen to work as a freelancer, suggesting that the freelance economy’ is beginning to take hold among those graduates with the strongest degree results
  • 29% of all graduates say freelancing is part of their career strategy for the next five years, a fact that suggests the freelance economy will continue to gather pace in the UK
  • The flexibility offered by freelancing is cited as the biggest career draw, with over two-thirds (69%) of all graduates saying they feel independent work offers them a better work-life balance.
  • The opportunity to work on a variety of different projects and across sectors is also appealing, with over a third (38%) saying this is a significant pull
  • Respondents are also attracted to the earning potential of freelance work with 38% saying they feel they can earn as much, if not more than they could in a traditional job
  • Elance data shows that the average hourly rate for UK freelancers increased 6.7% in 2013
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