2022 Update: 30+ Freelance Industry Statistics and Trends

Team Pepper
Posted on 1/08/225 min read
2022 Update: 30+ Freelance Industry Statistics and Trends
Between 2020 and 2022, the freelance industry has seen a phenomenal rise. This blog brings you fresh statistics and trends to support your freelancing growth.

Table of Contents

The Future of the Freelance Industry

Freelance Industry Statistics: 2020-2022

Freelance Industry Statistics for Different Professions

The Freelance Industry In India

The Freelance Industry Through the Pandemic

Gender-based Statistics Of The Freelance Industry

Mental Health and the Freelance Industry



If you are a freelancer looking for affirmation in 2022, you will be blown away by just how much potential the freelance industry holds. This blog brings you the top freelancing statistics and trends. So, if you are exploring a career as a freelancer, considering switching to full-time freelancing, or need more information about how the freelance industry works, read on.

The Future of the Freelance Industry

Here are some statistics about how the future of freelancing looks:

81% of the workforce is expected to move to or continue in the freelancing model. (LinkedIn, 2017)

Full-time freelance work is multiplying. A growth rate of 65% is expected over the next four or five years. (Edelman Intelligence, 2017)

Around 53% of businesses believe remote work has encouraged them to work with freelancers. (Upwork, 2021)

The global market size of the freelance industry is projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.3% by 2026 (Orbis Research, 2021).

● By 2028, over 50% of the total workforce in the USA will comprise freelancers. (Statista, 2022)

Freelance Industry Statistics: 2020-2022

If you are starting out as a freelancer, studying the trends of recent years will give you meaningful insight.

Jobs in the freelance industry saw a 25% higher demand between April and June 2020. (Freelancer, 2020)

In 2020 alone, Upwork generated more than $373 million. (Upwork, 2020)

Between 2019 and 2020, the active buyers base on Fiverr has grown by 45%. (Fiverr, 2021)

In 2020, 44% of freelancers in the UK were female. (IPSE, 2020)


2021 freelancing statistics


In 2020, approximately 2.2 million people in the UK catered to the freelance industry. (IPSE, 2020)

In 2021, over 22 million individuals in Europe were either self-employed or freelancers. (Boston Consulting Group and Malt, 2021)

At $1 trillion, the freelance industry had a fair share of the US economy in 2020. (Upwork, 2020)


Freelance Industry Statistics for Different Professions

With the number of freelancers rising every year, it is crucial to stay on top of your skills. It is equally important to build your profile on all beneficial freelancing platforms early on. This will help you create a solid client base, increase your ratings, and create a stellar portfolio as well.


In the current times, sales and marketing are the highest-grossing freelance professions. These include website content writing, ad management, SEO consulting, lead generation and sales, and software development. (Upwork, 2022)

The potential of earning in the freelance IT industry is also higher than in many generic roles. Skilled software developers can reach up to $1,000 hourly! (FullStack Labs)

the most in-demand skills for freelancers



On Upwork, established content writers earn $15 to $40 per hour.

Full-stack developers earn up to $150 on an hourly basis on the same platform.

Lawyers can also earn significantly from freelance platforms. For example, at $255 per hour, legal entity structuring is the most expensive service on Upwork.

Web design is one of the top 15 in-demand skills on Upwork. (Upwork, 2020)


The Freelance Industry in India

The Indian market is one of the finest when it comes to the freelance industry. Here are some statistics to look out for.


There are more than 15 million freelancers in India, making for 25% of the total freelancers in the world. (Payoneer, 2020)

With a 160% YoY revenue growth, India is one of the fastest-growing freelance countries. (Payoneer, 2020)


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The Freelance Industry Through the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic may or may not be over yet. Here are some statistics that will help you navigate the freelancing situation during the ongoing pandemic.


The pandemic stirred significant movement in the freelance industry. For example, about 12% of the workforce in the US entered the industry during the pandemic. (Upwork, 2020)

Half of the GenZ cohort freelanced in 2020, thanks to the paucity of jobs. (Upwork, 2020)

33% of freelancers worldwide had worked for fewer hours due to COVID-19. (Upwork, 2021)

And about 32% of freelancers stated in a survey that their service demand had gone down during the pandemic. (Upwork, 2021)


Gender-Based Statistics of the Freelance Industry

A huge pay gap is unfortunately prevalent in the freelancing industry. If you are a female freelancer, make sure that you are aware of the market rates and negotiate your rates accordingly.


One in five Indian women is a freelancer. (Payoneer, 2020)

Furthermore, male freelancers are four times more likely to make $150,000 annually than female freelancers. (Fiverr, 2020)

Female freelancers make 32% less than what male freelancers do for the same gig. (Honeybook)

There is a 43% gender pay gap between men and women who freelance. (IPSE, 2020)


Mental Health and the Freelance Industry

how often do freelancers work?


Here are a few crucial statistics about how freelancing impacts workers’ mental health.

51% of freelancers are reluctant about switching back to their traditional jobs. (Upwork and Freelancers Union, 2019)

43% of new freelancers venture into freelancing in the hope of improving their mental health. (Leapers, 2020)

64% of self-employed professionals don’t know where to seek mental health support.

● 55% of freelancers surveyed claimed they faced depression after entering the freelancing profession. (Viking, 2020)

With these statistics, you now have a fair understanding of the trends in the freelance industry. Use them to strengthen your skills as you venture into freelancing, and make sure to upskill at every chance you get. Happy freelancing!




1. Is the freelance industry still growing?

The freelance industry has been multiplying for the last decade and is set to grow further in the coming years. For example, by 2028, the world will have double the number of freelancers compared to 2018.

2. Is freelancing in the IT industry beneficial?

A Forbes article states that with the rise of startups, the demand for freelancers in artificial intelligence, robotics, UI-UX design, and web development is rising. If you are considering freelancing in the IT industry, you can work on multiple projects at once, be efficient with your time, and expand your portfolio.

3. How to freelance in the film industry?

The Indian film industry has been running on a freelance model since its inception. If you are looking for jobs in acting, direction, production, and other on-field roles, freelancing will be quite convenient for you. However, if you are a cinematographer or screenwriter, you can look for freelance jobs on online platforms.