What is the Freelancer Economy?

Freelancer Economy

When you hear the word freelancer, many of us immediately think of one specific type of freelance role. A designer, marketer, or writer who works on a few projects for your company. While these types of workers are definitely considered freelancers, in reality, the freelancer economy has grown much larger to include many different types of hybrid workers. 

In fact, freelancers now comprise 35% of the US workforce. This means that one in three workers freelance in some capacity. It is projected that in 2027, 86.5 million people will freelance in the US – a whopping 50.9% of the total US workforce. That is a lot of flexible workers. 

The freelancer economy now consists of not just those who we traditionally think of as independent contractors, but also gig workers, temporary workers, short-term contractors, and consultants. Overall, the freelancer economy has grown much larger over the past few years and expanded to include anyone who doesn’t work in a full-time, 9-5 role within a company.

Who’s included in the freelancer economy?

Today, freelancers work in a variety of fields and professions including:

  • Temporary, gig workers performing specific tasks on a flexible basis
  • Shift based, flexible workers 
  • Anyone who works as a consultant, coach, or independent contractor
  • Event staff to support seasonal or peak-time functions
  • Tech, IT, and web development consultants
  • UX design, branding, content, and marketing experts
  • Flexible data entry, admin, accountant, and HR roles

Why companies hire freelancers

The freelance economy was huge even before the pandemic and has grown even larger during it. Two million freelancers have been added in just the past year. Companies are seeing the benefits of working with talent in an on-demand way and while reducing overall cost. More often, freelancers are being used to work on projects or tasks that are core to the running of a business.

Using more freelancers means companies can:

  • Access specialised experts on-demand when they needed
  • Fill hard-to-fill roles faster than in a traditional job market
  • Save in employment costs and onboarding time
  • Scale quickly as a business and finish projects even faster

This shift to hiring more freelancers will only continue to grow with 62% of global executives believing that freelancers will substantially replace full-time employees within the next five years. Make sure your business is ready to handle this expansion to all types of flexible, hybrid workers.

Ready to learn more about how AllWork can help you classify, onboard, manage, and pay your freelancers? Schedule a demo of our platform here.