13 Shocking Freelance Statistics You Should Know (2021 Edition)

Freelance jobs have increased tremendously in the past year. Take a look at these freelance statistics to understand why:

Freelancing was already gaining momentum steadily in the last decade, but the sudden pandemic that forced people to work from home has further pushed more people and organizations to try out freelancing at least in some form. The freelance statistics for 2021 depict the same:


  • Freelance jobs postings increased by over 41 percent in the second half of 2020 as companies realised they couldn’t hire full-time employees anytime soon[1]
  • 36 percent of Gen Z freelancers started out right around the onset of the pandemic[1]
  • 32 percent of freelancers state that their demand actually increased due to COVID-19[2]
  • 68 percent of permanently employed remote workers are now interested in taking on some freelance work because of the pandemic [3]


Even without the pandemic, freelancing was already pretty popular with more and more people leaning towards it. All the pandemic did was make people realise that freelancing is a profitable and viable form of working. While it does not give you the security of a permanent job, it can give you more flexibility and freedom to create your own schedule, choose projects that you like, work at a pricing that aligns with your skills, and have a better work-life balance. 


As a freelance writer in India who has been doing this for the last 7-8 years, I actually saw my work tremendously increase during the pandemic, even though I had to severely cut down my working hours due to the growing responsibilities at home and the need to take care of my mental health during this difficult phase. I have also seen more and more companies open up to the idea of hiring freelancers remotely and realize that hiring freelancers is a better deal for them than finding and onboarding remote employees.


Still not convinced about freelancing? Take a look at these freelance statistics



1- Content strategy is 7th most in-demand skill for freelancers


While over 60 percent of the top in-demand skills for freelancers are development related, content strategy lands at 7th spot. Other non-development skills include voice over, subtitling and art direction.[5]


2- 30 percent of freelance writers made less than $10 per hour in their first year


If you are a new freelance writer and you have been feeling rather discouraged with the small payouts and rare projects, here is something to keep you motivated — First years are hard for everyone and freelance statistics prove the same. 


In their first year, a freelance content writer can make as low as $10 per hour. However,10 percent of new freelance writers that are highly skilled end up earning more than $76 per hour.[7]


3- Content writers on average can make $22-$80 per hour


While it can be tricky to answer how much freelance writers can make in a month or year, on average freelance content writers can make $22-$80 per hour. [1]


What’s even more surprising is the fact that freelance writers can make anywhere between $5 to $1000 per article. A lot depends on the niche you are writing for, the amount of research you are handling, and the kind of experience that you have. Here’s a guide to set your own freelance writing rates to ensure you aren’t getting underpaid.


4- The top three freelance writing niches are Finance, B2B, and SaaS: 


Majority of freelance writers that make well over $3000 per month write for three main niches: finance, B2B marketing,and SaaS — proving that these niches have vast potential and limited experienced writers.[9]


5- 26 percent of writers that struggle to get consistent projects are nicheless 


One of the main reasons why freelance writers struggle to meet their monthly revenue goal is that they stay nicheless. Without an expertise in any niche, it can be difficult to justify your charges and increase them consistently, thus plateauing your revenue after a period of time. [9] 


6- 61 percent of freelance writers get projects through referrals and cold emailing


According to this freelance statistics, over 61 percent of freelance content writers that make well over $3,000 per month get new clients and projects through referrals from others or directly cold emailing their prospective clients. [9] Getting new projects isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds — here’s a guide

7- Work done by freelancers is expected to double in the next 10 years


The amount of work handled by freelancers, temporary employees and agencies will increase by over 168 percent in the next 10 years — indicating a rather booming freelance economy which shows no signs of slowing down.[4]

8- Over 61 percent of freelancers specialize in at least 2-3 skills


Just less than 5 percent of freelancers rely on a single skill to get work. On the other hand, more than 65 percent of freelancers have at least two to three skills to constantly get new and interesting projects.[6]


9- 51 percent of freelancers don’t want to go back to a traditional 9 to 5 job, no matter what


After experiencing the freedom and flexibility of freelancing, more than half of the freelancers never want to go back to the usual 9 to 5 jobs irrespective of the kind of money they are offered.[1] 


10- 63 percent of freelancers work with multiple clients simultaneously

Freelancers are always vary about job security which is why they prefer to work with multiple clients at the same time instead of sticking to just one. In fact, an average freelancer has over 4.5 clients every month. [1] 


Moreover, 70 percent of freelancers work on 2-4 projects all at the same time. Only 13 percent of freelancers work on one project at a time.[6]  


11- 93 percent of freelancers say skill training is essential 


Constantly updating your skills in this largely dynamic professional world has become crucial especially for freelancers. Over 93 percent of freelancers with a college degree agree that skill training around the year is needed to stay relevant, get better projects, and a higher pay.[8]


12- Schedule flexibility is the top reason why most people go into freelancing 


The flexibility that freelancing offers when it comes to setting your own schedule and choosing your own projects is unparalleled. In fact 46 percent of freelancers go full-time primarily because of this flexibility and freedom it offers.[1]


13- 86 percent of freelancers prefer to work from home


While freelancing gives you the freedom to work from anywhere you want, over 86 percent of full time freelancers find home as the best place to work. Over 84 percent of freelancers state their work allows them to live the kind of life that they want without any restrictions.[8


The future of freelancing is bright

If these freelance statistics provide one thing, it is that the future of the freelance industry is incredibly bright. Freelancers are happy with the flexibility that they get, while clients love the boost in their cost savings and productivity. With the pandemic making remote work more ubiquitous, the frequency of freelance jobs is set to increase, making it the perfect time for you to get into freelancing if you are a new freelancer in India



(1) Upwork

(2) Payoneer.

(3) Fiverr

4) Invero report 

5) Business Insider 

6) And.co

7) Smallbiztrends

8) Forbes

9) Writing Revolt

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