Upwork freelancer – a study from 2019
Upwork freelancer, alone, is a small cog but hived together with the other fellow freelancers around the globe (work from home jobs force), and small cog becomes a part of the machine, which turns the economy of the world.
The freelancer, of course, can be the one working for Flexjobs, Kelly Services, Rat Race Rebellion, or any other freelance jobs offering websites.
Freelancers Union and Upwork freelancer study from 2019 showed that work from home – freelancing income in the US, today is ahead of substantial industries like construction, transportation and warehousing, mining, and just barely behind information industries.
Work from home most relevant data
First of all, I’ll rewind a bit – to October 3, 2019. On that date, Upwork released a press release that slipped by mostly unnoticed.
“Freelancing in America” study was a collaboration between Freelancers Union and Upwork to find out the latest data around freelancing business and freelance jobs. I’m going to refer to it as an Upwork freelancer study from now on (I’m sure that Freelancers Union will not mind).
Who are they? If you are on this page, I assume you already know, but if you don’t, here’s a few lines on them.
Upwork is the largest global freelancing website, with millions of freelance jobs posted annually.
Here is what Wikipedia said:
Upwork has twelve million registered freelancers and five million registered clients. Three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of US$1 billion, making it the largest freelancer marketplace in the world.
Freelancers Union is a fast-growing organization counting 490,000+ members representing the 56.7 million independent workers across the country.
And what did the Upwork freelancer research shown?
Freelancers aren’t just some afar utopian future. They are one of the pillars of the economy today!
The Facts behind Upwork freelancer
Here are some of the facts:
- More than one in three Americans freelanced last year (That’s 56.7m Americans)
- They have worked more than 1 billion hours
- They contributed close to $1 trillion annually in 2019 (Approaching 5% of U.S. GDP)
- 46% of freelancers confirms that freelancing gives them the flexibility they need because they are unable to work at a so-called traditional job due to personal circumstances
- 77% of them told that technology has made it easier to find freelance work
Global impact of ‘work from home freelance jobs’
Furthermore, that’s only for America, and if you incorporate freelance jobs from the rest of the world, you can get a whole picture of how big the ‘work from home jobs’ industry has become.
So, that small cog I mentioned at the beginning, is grinding away a severe portion of it now.
The little engine that could. It does not matter if you are a dedicated Upwork freelance worker or if you are freelancing at Freelancer, Rat Race Rebellion, Kelly Services, Flexjobs, Appen, Lionbridge, Amazon remote jobs, or any other freelance websites.
Freelancers today all over the world are now a respectable part of something big, and the world is starting to acknowledge it.
“Freelancing is a respected, long-term career path. It’s remarkable to see this way of working empowering the youngest generation more than any prior generation and also to see the ways freelancing is opening up opportunities for inclusion in the workforce. Companies that want access to skilled professionals who are proactively training themselves and incredibly self-motivated should turn to independent professionals. The future of work is now, and they are leading the way.” – Stephane Kasriel, President and CEO of Upwork.
“The 2019 Freelancing in America report shows that freelancing has become a long-term career choice for an increasingly diverse group.”– Caitlin Pearce, Executive Director of Freelancers Union
Like any other new thing, at first, people pushed freelancing with a long stick. Do something Upwork freelancer they demanded.
And another poke – Amazon remote jobs are not worth it, and we don’t have to pay for it, freelancers are less worthy.
Now, it’s a slightly different story.
Some laws help, and some are mostly controversial. The industry is still at its infancy period, a toddler at best.
The good, the Bad, and the Ugly – freelance jobs
This groundbreaking law protecting freelancers from nonpayment was a victory for Freelancers Union members in New York City and served as a blueprint for other cities and states. Enacted in 2017, its provisions include:
- 30-Day Payment Terms: Unless otherwise specified in a contract, clients must pay freelancers within 30 days of work completion.
- Mandatory Contracts: clients must use a contract when hiring a freelancer for over $800 of work, and they can face fines if they refuse to provide one.
- Payment Agreement Protections: clients cannot require that freelancers accept less than they’re owed in exchange for timely payment.
- Anti-Retaliation: clients cannot retaliate against a freelancer for pursuing payment.
- Legal Assistance: a city agency will investigate, may try to collect on the freelancer’s behalf, and will provide court navigation services if needed.
- Double Damages: freelancers can collect double damages and attorneys fees in court, and repeat offenders can face penalties of up to $25,000.
That one is here to help out those who are working independently.
Recently I have read an article on USAToday, that showed a somewhat different position on new legislation.
It seems like not all of the new laws are concise enough to regulate the gig economy correctly.
Many new bills circulating in some states are mostly controversial. They claim they are here to stop the exploitation of freelance workers, only to raise worries among some freelancers who fear work opportunities may dry up.
Freelancers have divided into two camps about these new bills.
Those who claim that new laws are needed to stop employers from evading tax laws and stop exploiting the people they hire.
And those who fear they will lose their gigs.
Growing pains of the gig economy, for sure.
Work from home has a bright future ahead
As a result, based on this information, and on the fact that legislation started to catch-up, it’s a safe bet that freelancers have a bright future ahead.
The land is enormous, beautiful. Gold and new opportunities are there for the brave to take. Participants are still little rough on the edges, but the sheriff has it under control.
Those who come first will profit the most, as always.
I remember when Upwork was still Elance-oDesk, the time when Freelancer.com was starting, who taught that a decade later, they will net $1 billion in annual freelancer billings?
This how once people talked about Apple or Microsoft. New times, new business opportunities.
Hence, you can have your traffic jams with according pollution increase, your 9-5 work, your dress code, your tedious every day the same job, and a crazy boss. I’ll have none of it! (Ok, maybe the boss still is crazy).
Best freelance websites – the mecca of freelance jobs
Have Rat Race Rebellion, Kelly Services, Flexjobs, Appen, Lionbridge, and Amazon remote jobs already made it on your best freelance websites list? Are they the best work from home jobs got to offer?
Have they established themselves as leaders of the industry? Are they household names yet?
If the answer is no, they will be soon.
You’ve all heard for the Amazon, and subsequently, Amazon jobs. But did you know there’s Amazon Virtual Locations section?
Why do these places have such a strong impact? Why will their influence only grow in the years to come?
Do you want to join the freelancers? There’s a lot of work from home jobs that you will have to sift through.
It will probably take you a lot of time to do it, so I’ll supply you with a list of some of the best freelance websites today.
Some of the best freelance websites:
–why would you say that ‘Flexjobs’ or ‘Rat Race Rebellion’ is better than ‘Appen’?
I didn’t say that they are in random order.
-so, you think that ‘Kelly Services‘ or ‘Amazon’s remote jobs‘ are better than ‘indeed‘ or ‘weworkremotely’ who didn’t even make it on the list?
Nope, they are all good, and this is my opinion.
You are welcome to comment on it.
For clarity, I’ve only entered a shortlist of the best freelance websites here, and if you want a full one with few lines about each of them, you can find it – here.
Remember, each of these websites is different. Each has its strengths and its weaknesses.
What is in common to them all?
The fact that they have lots of jobs listed and many freelancers use them every day, they trust them, and work with them, and earn with them.
Another great site for locating work from home jobs is Jooble. Jooble is a job search engine that aggregates and displays job ads. It contains thousands of job boards, corporate, recruiter pages and newspapers. It’s available in 71 countries and translated into 24 languages.
What’s next for a little Upwork freelancer?
A little cog, a lonely Upwork freelancer, showed you what can he do, are you brave enough to follow his trail?
A rough estimation is that by 2027 more than half of Americans will be working from home as freelancers.
Recent unfortunate events, like the Corona pandemic, will only speed up this process.
There are negative sides to being a freelancer. In life, there’s rarely a black&white scenario.
Hence, there’s isolation, problem with self-motivation, less work/home separation, interruptions, tax issues, the list goes on.
The biggest issue for me is the lack of face to face communication, and there’s no substitute for this during some activities, especially those more collaborative.
But, in my case at least, the benefits of being a freelancer are too good, and more and more people will use them due to health concerns, a greener environment, or just because it’s simpler.
The next step in working evolution is here, and I have embraced it.
Maybe you’ll consider getting work from home jobs? If you don’t, you’re risking becoming a minority yourself.
Thank you for the read.