Upwork Study Finds 60 Million Americans Freelancing in 2022
Total freelance professionals reaches all-time high as people reevaluate the old ways of work
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Upwork Freelance Forward 2022 (Graphic: Business Wire)
Upwork’s study found American freelancers contributed
“Freelancing continues to gain popularity among skilled professionals as more people evaluate their priorities and values around work,” said
Large swaths of the
Key findings of the report include:
Freelancing remains a significant part of the
U.S.labor market and economy: Freelancers contributed $1.35 trillionto the U.S.economy in annual earnings in 2022, up $50 billionfrom 2021.
- Freelancing hits an all-time high: The share of professionals freelancing increased to 60 million Americans, up three percentage points from 2021 to 39%.1
- Perceptions of freelancing continue to shift: Nearly three-quarters of freelancers (73%) say that perceptions of freelancing as a career are becoming more positive, up from 68% in 2021.2
- Gen Z and Millennials are the most likely to explore freelancing: In 2022, 43% of all Gen Z professionals and 46% of all Millennial professionals performed freelance work.
- Over half of freelancers provide knowledge services: 51% of all freelancers, or nearly 31 million professionals, provided knowledge services such as computer programming, marketing, IT, and business consulting in 2022.
Diversified workers become more common: 17% of
U.S.workers are now diversified, meaning they seek multiple sources of income from a mix of traditional employment and freelance work, up three percentage points from 2021.
Freelancing continues to grow among the most educated: 26% of all
U.S.freelancers hold a postgraduate degree, up from 20% in 2021.
To read the full report, visit www.upwork.com/research/freelance-forward-2022.
About Freelance Forward
To see further insights, please visit www.upwork.com/research/freelance-forward-2022. The study is conducted by independent research firm Edelman Data & Intelligence. 3,000
Upwork is the world’s work marketplace. We serve everyone from one-person startups to over 30% of the Fortune 100 with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential. Our talent community earned over
1 Based on September non-farm payrolls of 153 million
2 For freelancers who were freelancing before COVID-19