Boulder, CO, Dec 4, 2018 — Today FlexJobs released new insights from its November 2018 survey, which gathered responses from nearly 1,000 freelancers about key topics related to their freelance career, lifestyle and workstyle. Based on this survey, the profile of the average worker who freelances as their sole source of income is a female Gen Xer working in the writing, marketing, editing, and creative career fields, primarily for small companies and individuals, juggling 2-3 gigs at a time. She freelances by choice, has been freelancing for at least three years although has also worked at a traditional company, and envisions continuing her freelance career for the long-term.
“Some might think the freelance economy is growing because workers can’t find traditional jobs, but recent studies clearly indicate that workers are freelancing more and more out of choice — they are proactively opting out of the traditional workforce,” said Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “This growing interest in and passion for the freelance economy is yet another indication that the 9-5 office arrangement isn’t compatible with much of the workforce’s lifestyle. In fact, only six percent say their freelance lifestyle wouldn’t be a big deal for them to give up, citing critical reasons such as maintaining work-life balance and having ownership over their flexible schedule,” Sutton concluded.
Interesting Freelancing Facts
Interesting highlights from workers that freelance as their sole source of income include:
- More members of gen Xers (35%) and the baby boomer generation (33%) are freelancing as their sole source of income than millennials (22%)
- The majority choose to freelance rather than have a traditional office job (63%)
- Only 19% work more than 40 hours a week (the average American works 44 hours per week)
- They work primarily for small companies (55%) and individuals (52%)
- 40% have 2-3 active gigs at one time; 23% focus on one gig at a time and 6% juggle more than 6 at a time
- They find their clients primarily through networking (63%) and job sites (47%). 37% use social media
- 83% do most of their work at home, not at a coffee shop or co-working space
- 82% don’t use a use an outside service for bookkeeping purposes, such as to collect payments or track invoices
- Only one-third have an official website to support their freelance business
- Online courses (65%) and on the job (59%) are the primary ways they develop their professional skills
- One quarter make more money as a freelancer than they did working a traditional job and 21% make similar amounts of money
- Even though 52% make less money as a freelancer than they did working a traditional job, 68% are less stressed
- Approximately half are saving for retirement (49%) and 69% have health insurance
- Just 5% worry a lot that being a freelancer will hurt their career progression
- Their biggest challenges are finding clients (69%) and predictable income flow (69%)
- Freelancers without children are choosing to freelance rather than have a traditional job at a higher rate (48%) than freelancers with children 18 and under (38%)
- People without children aren’t as worried that being a freelancer will hurt their career progression or prospects as freelancers with children. When asked if they worry a lot about this, 73% of freelancers without kids said not really vs only 59% of freelancers with kids who said they were not really worried.
Places that Hire Freelancers
To help freelancers interested in finding freelance jobs, FlexJobs has also compiled the Top 30 Companies Hiring Freelance Jobs in 2018. Robert Half International, K12, and Facebook are among those hiring a high volume of freelancers this year. The list is based on an analysis of freelance job listings from over 50,000 companies in the FlexJobs database between Jan. 1, 2018 – Oct 31, 2018.
FlexJobs is committed to helping people find a better way to work. As the leading online service for professionals seeking remote, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs, FlexJobs offers opportunities in over 50 career categories, ranging from entry-level and executive to freelance and full-time. FlexJobs also sets itself apart by providing job seekers with a better, safer, and more efficient way to find professional and legitimate flexible jobs. Having helped over 3 million people in their job searches, FlexJobs has appeared in CNN, CNBC, Time, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and hundreds of other trusted media outlets. To further assist people in bettering their lives through flexible and remote work, FlexJobs’ founder and CEO, Sara Sutton, has also launched two additional partner sites, Remote.co and 1 Million for Work Flexibility, to help provide education and awareness about the viability and benefits of remote working and work flexibility. Sutton is also the creator of The TRaD* Works Forum (*Telecommuting, Remote, & Distributed), dedicated to helping companies leverage the benefits of telecommuting, remote, and distributed teams.