February 6 2020: Digital e-commerce payments platform Payoneer has published its Freelancer Income Report. It provides new insight into the world of freelancers, their motivations and how this unique workforce empowers global collaboration by connecting top talent with businesses anywhere in the world.
The report tells the story of an ambitious and courageous workforce that is unwilling to settle for the status quo. Freelancing’s popularity is attributed to the potential for greater job opportunity, independence, higher incomes and a promising move in the direction of wage equality.
Today’s gig economy – powered by social media, global marketplaces and online payment platforms – equips the global workforce with all the tools needed to chart their own career path, leveraging a freelance work lifestyle to build a full-time career, a “side-hustle” or even just extend their career post-retirement.
The report details the vast opportunities freelancers have at their fingertips.
YOUNG WORKFORCE: The freelance workforce is overall very young, with nearly 70 percent of freelancers surveyed being under the age of 35, and 21 percent are under the age of 25. This youth movement is even more pronounced in Asia where 82 percent of respondents are under 35, compared to North America where the number is still high but closer to 47 percent.
EARNINGS: While freelancers find value in freedom and flexibility of being their own boss, happiness is most tightly correlated with income earned. The worldwide average hourly rate charged by freelancers is $21, higher than the $19 average rate reported in Payoneer’s 2018 survey and significantly higher than the average salaries in many of the countries surveyed. Those individuals who work exclusively in freelancing earn a higher hourly rate and are more satisfied with their lifestyle compared to those who split their time working for a company. While freelancers are earning more, businesses are also benefitting by being able to source top-talent without concern for location or overhead costs, increasing satisfaction on both sides of the relationship.
DIVERSITY: One of the more optimistic findings from the report is that women’s participation in the freelance workforce has been gaining momentum and the average wage for females is leaps and bounds ahead of the greater workforce. Female freelancers earn on average 84 percent of men’s earnings across all fields, and while there is room for improvement, the gap is much smaller than the 64 percent average for all workers reported by the World Economic Forum.
However, there are industry-specific nuances, and fields exist where the gender gap remains pronounced, including finance and project management fields. That said, women earn more than men in marketing and web and graphic design.