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Freelancing Trends, Market Size & Statistics for 2024

Kyle Prinsloo

Founder, ClientManager

30 Jan 2024

Published On:

The Covid-19 pandemic changed freelancing and the employment market as we know it.

Many predict that this evolution will continue and that it is unlikely that the world will return to office-based 9 to 5 working.

So, if you’re looking for freelancing trends that are going to be HUGE this year, this article has you covered.

Here are the most important freelancing trends and stats to focus on right now:

Top 9 Freelance Statistics

Here are the top nine freelance statistics that you should know:


1.) Freelancing Is Growing

The number of freelancers is expected to reach 90.1 million by 2028. This indicates a significant growth in the freelance workforce and highlights the increasing popularity of freelancing as a career choice.

2.) Market Size Growth Is Fuelling The Increase In Freelance Opportunities

The freelance market is projected to reach a value of $455.2 billion by 2023 (and grow past $500b in 2024). This demonstrates the immense size and potential of the freelance industry, making it a lucrative market for freelancers to tap into.

3.) 36% Of The US Workforce Freelance

59 million Americans freelanced in 2020, accounting for 36% of the total workforce. This highlights the significant contribution of freelancers to the economy and the growing trend of flexible work arrangements.

4.) Freelances Working In Skilled Services Now Earn An Average of $28/Hour

60% of individuals who took the leap from traditional full-time employment to freelancing saw a rise in their earnings.

How’s that for an incentive? Digging deeper, it was recorded that the average freelancer within the United States was bringing in an hourly wage of $20.

Breaking it down further, hard-working freelancers in the specialised fields of web/mobile development, marketing, legal services and accounting reportedly earn an average of $28 per hour. To put this in context, these freelancers are out-earning more than 70% of all US workers.

5.) Most In-Demand Freelance Skills Are Web Development And Graphic Design

Most in-demand freelance skills are web development, mobile app development, and graphic design. This indicates the importance of acquiring and honing these skills to stay competitive in the freelance marketplace.

6.) 51% Of Freelancers Have A Better Work-Life Balance

51% of freelancers reported having a better work-life balance compared to traditional employment. This highlights one of the key advantages of freelancing, as it allows you to have more control over your schedules and personal lives.

7.) 77% Of Freelancers Are Happy With Their Career

77% of freelancers reported feeling positive about their career choice. This indicates a high level of job satisfaction among freelancers and suggests that many individuals find freelancing to be a fulfilling and rewarding career path.

8.) The Gig Economy Is Booming

The gig economy, of which freelancing is a significant part, is expected to continue growing. 43% of the entire U.S. workforce is made up of gig workers. This highlights the long-term viability and relevance of freelancing as a career choice.

9.) Freelancing Is A Global Phenomenon

Freelancers are not limited to a specific country or region. The global freelance market is estimated to be worth $1.5 trillion.This highlights the growing popularity and acceptance of freelancing as a viable career option globally.

Now, let's get into other important questions and data:

How Many Freelancers Are There?

Looking at the employment landscape of 2024, the number of freelancers is seeing an unprecedented surge.

Just how many freelancers are there around the world?

According to various surveys and research, the number of freelancers worldwide in 2024 is expected to cross a staggering 1.57 billion freelancers.

Let's delve a bit deeper into this trend.

Nearly 47% of the world's workforce is now freelancing (source)

The era of 9 to 5 jobs is gradually being overshadowed by the gig economy.

The Rise of Full-time Freelancing

Currently, about 28% of freelancers are full-time, indicating a steady increase from prior years.

This shift towards full-time freelancing is driven by multiple factors such as the growing trend of:

  • remote work

  • the search for better work-life balance

  • the desire for job flexibility

Also, the opportunity to earn more than traditional jobs has been a significant driving factor.

Fastest Growing Freelance Markets - By Country

Countries like Pakistan, Ukraine, the Philippines, India, and Bangladesh make the Top 10 list of nations reporting the most rapid growth in freelancer earnings:


% Increase in Freelancer Earnings

United States of America


​United Kingdom


















(Source: CNBC)

Most In-Demand Freelancing Services

Let's take a look at the top 10 most in-demand services across some popular sectors:


Top 10 Design & Creative Skills for 2024

● Graphic Design

● Video Editing

● Illustration

● 3D Animation

● Presentation Design

● Image Editing

● Cartoons & Comics

● Product & Industrial Design

● 2D Animation

● Video Production

Top 10 Tech Skills for 2024

● Full Stack Development

● Front-End Development

● Back-End Development

● Mobile App Development

● Website Design

● Ecommerce Website Design

● UX/UI Design

● CMS Development

● Manual Testing

● Scripting & Automation

Top 10 Marketing Skills for 2024


● Social Media Marketing

● Other Digital Marketing

● Lead Generation

● Sales & Business Development

● Telemarketing

● Search Engine Marketing

● Email Marketing

● Marketing Strategy

● Marketing Automation


How Much Do Freelancers Make?

The average hourly rate and annual salary for the most popular freelancing jobs:

Service Offered

Hourly Rate Range

Equivalent Annual Salary*

Web Development



​Mobile Development



​Graphic Design



​Content Editor









​Online Marketing/SEO



​CRM Management



​Data Analysis



(Source: CNBC)

*Note: Equivalent salary has been adjusted based on average bookable time of 70% of a working week.

The most common factors that determine how much freelancers can charge:

Years of experience: More experience usually means higher pay rates for freelancers.

Specific skill set: The price freelancers charge depends on their skills. For example, jobs requiring programming, mobile app development, or legal writing may command higher fees.

Education and training: Educated and certified freelancers often earn more. The field of work determines how much impact it has. But, generally, such credentials enhance bargaining power for better pay.

Reviews and deliverables: Past feedback verifies the freelancer's performance. Many good reviews show their credibility, allowing them to charge more.

Location: Freelancers may globally operate, but the project's payment can significantly vary based on the client's location.

When it comes to freelancing, there are many different types of work. Generally, the more technical a profession is, the more freelancers in that field can earn.

Average Hourly Rate for Freelance Web Designers

The average hourly rate for freelance web designers can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the complexity of the project.

The average hourly rate for web designers is around $15 to $75 per hour.

This rate can fluctuate significantly based on the individual freelancer's skillset, geography, and experience.

Experience Level

Freelancers with several years of experience and a strong portfolio of successful projects tend to command higher rates compared to those who are just starting out.

Clients often value expertise and a proven track record, which can justify a higher hourly rate.

Project Complexity

The complexity of the project is another important consideration when determining the average hourly rate for freelance web designers. Projects that require advanced technical skills, extensive customization, or a high level of creativity often warrant higher rates.

Clients understand that these types of projects require additional time and expertise, and are willing to pay a premium for quality work.


Location is also a significant factor in determining the average hourly rate for freelance web designers. Rates can vary greatly between different countries and even within regions of the same country.

For example, web designers based in developed countries like the United States or the United Kingdom generally charge higher rates compared to those in developing countries. This is due to factors such as cost of living, demand for web design services, and local market dynamics.

Tips For Calculating Your Hourly Rate

Consider these questions to determine your hourly rate as a freelancer:

● How much money do I need to make to support my lifestyle?

● How much money do I want to make as a goal?

● What do other freelancers charge for similar services?

● How much money would I make as a permanent employee?

● What expenses or overheads do I have as a freelance business owner?

● Are my skills in demand?

● How much value am I bringing to the client?

If you prefer watching, this 7min video goes into detail:

Hourly pricing

Hourly pricing is often chosen by new freelancers due to its simplicity - it involves calculating an hourly rate and multiplying it by the work hours.

Customer service and technical support projects are good examples of hourly-based work.

Project-based (fixed) pricing

This model charges a set price for the complete project, not based on hours but on the outcome. It's best for projects with specific deliverables open to value-based pricing.

Projects ideal for fixed-price contracts are graphic design, web design, and mobile app development.

Set your annual salary goal

Pick a yearly salary and calculate how many working hours you’ll need to get to that salary.

For example, an annual income of $50,000 breaks down like this:

● $50,000 per year (before taxes)

● Working 40 hours per week (5 x 8-hour days)

● 4 weeks off for holidays, sick days, and unexpected absences

= 48 working weeks x 40 hours week = 1,920 working hours

= $50,000 / 1,920 hours = $26 per hour

But this rate considers all your working time as billable hours.

In reality, many activities require time you don’t get paid for, such as administrative tasks, invoicing and billing, replying to emails, prospecting and finding new clients, marketing, and more.

That leads to the next step.

Consider the number of billable hours you need to work

Freelancers typically spend 60% of their time on billable tasks and 40% on non-billable tasks. Modify this ratio based on your work projections to set your freelancer rate.

Considering the 1,920 work hours from the previous calculation, what portion will be billable vs non-billable? With the standard 60%/40% split, we can recalculate the rate using only billable hours:

= 1,920 hours x 60% = 1,152 billable hours (+ 768 non-billable hours)

= $50,000 / 1,152 billable hours = $43 per hour

As a freelancer, decide if you want more projects with lower pay or fewer projects with higher pay.

Knowing a project's billable time helps understand if the non-billable hours are worthwhile.

Raise your rate for small projects while offering discounts for bigger or long-term ones.

Incorporate freelancer expenses into your price

As a freelancer, calculate your business expenses to determine your rate. Add all your costs to your income target to adjust your hourly rate.

Some typical expenses for freelancers are:

● Health insurance

● Taxes

● Business insurance and licences

● Equipment

● Office space/rent

● Software subscriptions

● Marketing and advertising costs

● Freelance platform fees

If these expenses total $10,000 per year, your annual goal needs to go up to $60,000, and your hourly rate increases to $52 ($60,000 / 1,152 billable hours).

Know the market rate for your services

Now, compare your calculated hourly rate to the market. How does it match with other freelancers offering similar services?

You can gather this data by checking competitors’ rates on Upwork or Glassdoor.

This will give you an understanding of the average freelancer's hourly rates, plus typical earnings in different fields.

If your determined rate aligns with the market, it's a sound starting point. If it's too high, re-evaluate your expenses or salary needs. A rate that's too low may suggest underappreciation of your skills.

Understand your value

Understand your worth to price your services effectively. Your pricing should reflect the value you provide your clients.

One way to estimate your value is to examine your experience, abilities, and previous work. Your expertise, rather than being an expense, is an investment.

More experienced freelancers can charge more for their time.

For instance, a web developer with 10 years of experience can charge more than a freelancer with two years of experience.

Your unique and complicated skill set influences your pricing strategy too. A programmer proficient in three languages can charge more than one proficient in only one programming language.

If you can showcase quality and return on investment, you can ask for a higher rate for your services.

Popular Countries for Freelancers

The rise of remote work has shattered geographical boundaries, allowing freelancers to thrive from virtually any corner of the world.

However, some countries have emerged as particularly friendly environments for the freelance workforce.

Let's take a closer look:

United States:

With its booming economy and the vast array of industries, the US continually tops the list of popular countries for freelancers. What’s more, digital infrastructure, high-speed internet, and a widespread acceptance of remote work make it an appealing locale for freelancers.

🇮🇳 India:

As one of the fastest-growing gig economies, India houses a large number of freelancers with a dense concentration in tech and creative sectors. High-level English language skills, coupled with lower living costs, make India an attractive freelance hub.

🇬🇧 United Kingdom:

British freelancers have relished from a surge in remote work following the Covid-19 pandemic. Access to an extensive network of businesses along with high digital literacy rates makes the UK a popular haven for the freelance community.

🇨🇦 Canada:

Freelancers are attracted to Canada due to its steady economy, the proliferation of tech firms and a thriving creative industry. Additionally, a robust digital payments system and a strong culture of entrepreneurship also facilitate freelance work.

🇦🇺 Australia:

Australia's vast expanse, coupled with its developed digital infrastructure, has given rise to a booming freelance market. Particularly for creatives and tech-minded individuals, Australia offers a significant range of freelance opportunities.

In 2024, these popular countries for freelancers continue to be key players due to their sustained freelance-friendly economies and infrastructure.

Top Paying Freelancing Skills


Business Consultant

A business consultant guides clients in understanding operational issues and solving business problems.

Consultants, who can specialize in areas like marketing, finance, or HR, are hired by companies to suggest operational or profitability improvements.

You can earn significantly as a freelance consultant, with hourly rates averaging between $28 and $100 /hr, depending on skills and project size. The management consulting industry is expected to grow by 3.23% annually from 2022 to 2028.

Artificial intelligence (AI) professional

Artificial Intelligence (AI) professionals use their skills in programming to create algorithms and natural language processing (NLP) models, enhancing life and business.

Machine learning engineers earn between $25 and $50 per hour. While AI engineer jobs offer $36 to $72 /hr. The AI market, projected to expand by 15% annually till 2030, promises massive opportunities.


Photography is a popular field that requires high levels of creativity and technical expertise to produce high-quality images for companies and individuals.

As a freelance photographer, you can earn a living capturing images of events, physical products, places, and people. Clients are willing to pay well if you can capture images that tell a captivating story. Some may also want to hire photographers with strong Photoshop skills.

When it comes to average hourly rates for photography projects, you can expect between $25 and $45 /hr.

Data analyst

As a freelance data analyst, you assist clients in analyzing their historical data. You help reveal key customer behavior trends, aiding businesses in making informed operational decisions.

Businesses use data analysts to predict future trends more accurately. You'll be dealing with big data from various sources.

The hourly rate for data analysts ranges between $55 to $65 /hr. Freelance platforms provide opportunities for well-paid projects alongside full-time roles in companies.


Freelance copywriting involves creating engaging content like newsletters, ad copy, emails, and articles. This is suitable for individuals with strong English and communication skills.

Work can be done via Google Docs or content management systems like Wix, based on client preference.

Freelance copywriters can earn between $30 and $40 /hr. Payment can be fixed-rate, hourly, or per word depending on the job.

Project manager

Project managers analyze and improve business processes. They keep teams on schedule, reduce uncertainty, and save the organization's time, resources, and money.

Project managers typically earn $30 to $60 /hr. The Project Management Institute predicts a global demand for 25 million new project managers from 2021 to 2030, approximately 2.3 million per year.

Digital marketing consultant

Freelance digital marketers assist businesses in enhancing their online presence and generating leads to boost sales.

Common strategies include SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and online advertising. You can also assist clients with specific digital sales and marketing issues.

Your services can command attractive pay rates, digital marketers typically earn between $40 and $50 /hr.


Editors ensure written texts meet guidelines by checking grammar, style, and facts. They are crucial for quality content creation.

Freelancing can be a great option for those skilled in editing. The typical pay for copyediting tasks can be between $25 and $35 /hr, depending on various factors.

Mobile app developer

Mobile app developers build new or update existing apps, potentially requiring proficiency in programming languages like Swift, Flutter or Kotlin.

You could earn $55 to $65 /hr.

Social media manager

Social media enables businesses to advertise directly to consumers. It's the role of social media managers to create and apply promotional strategies for lead generation.

Working as a freelance social media manager, you could assist multiple brands simultaneously with their social media presence. Duties will typically involve giving expert recommendations on content creation and targeting, requiring a good knowledge of diverse social media platforms.

Current earnings range from $40 to $60 /hr.

Judging by the projected 12.4% CAGR of the global online advertising market from 2023-2030, revealed in a Statista report, job demand should remain substantial.

Web designer

Web designers create and update websites. This job is great for creative technical people who can build high-quality web pages.

To do this job, you might need skills in programming languages like JavaScript, Python, or SQL. You might also need to know how to use software and UX design programs, such as Figma and Adobe XD.

You can potentially earn between $15 and $75+ /hr, depending on your experience.

With growing job opportunities in this field, keep an eye on new trends like designing for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

Web developer

Web developers use their coding skills to create website functionality.

Top freelance roles often need professionals experienced in front-end, back-end, or full-stack web development.

Front-end developers handle website design and visual aspects, whereas back-end specialists manage the unseen or admin areas.

Being a freelance web developer allows earnings of $25-$60+ /hr.


Programmers write code for computer and mobile apps and maintain systems. They also support businesses in software and web development.

Typical earnings for programming jobs range between $30 and $70+ /hr.


Videography is the practice of capturing and editing videos. This field requires both filming and video editing expertise.

As a videographer, you can work independently or team up with professionals to cover events like weddings, corporate seminars, and parties.

Videographers typically earn between $30 and $45 /hr.

The global video production services industry is expected to increase annually by 8.39% through 2027, suggesting sustained demand for video editors.

Best Skills For Freelancers in 2024

Here are the best skills that are projected to be in high demand in 2024:

Digital Marketing:

With businesses investing more in online platforms, digital marketing skills like SEO, content creation, and social media management are essential.

Data Analytics:

Data-driven decision-making is the future. Enhancement in data analytics means you can offer actionable insights that steer business strategies.

AI and Machine Learning:

Automation is a growing field. Proficiency in AI and ML can make you highly desirable as businesses look to streamline operations and improve efficiency.


Cyber threats are on the rise. As a cybersecurity specialist, you can help protect businesses from potential breaches and maintain the integrity of their online presence.

UX/UI Design:

In the digital age, user experience and interface design play a crucial role in customer satisfaction. As a designer, being modern and sophisticated with UX/UI design can place you ahead of the curve.

These skills are expected to be the cream of the crop, but don't limit yourself to these alone.

The freelancing world is vast, and trends can shift quickly. Continuous learning is part of the job.

Upwork Freelance Statistics

When it comes to freelancing platforms, Upwork is undoubtedly a market leader.

It offers a wide range of opportunities for freelancers from various industries.

Let's take a look at some essential freelancing stats from UpWork in 2024.


Growth of Freelancers on Upwork:

In recent years, the number of freelancers using Upwork has seen a considerable surge.

Projected figures indicate that by 2024, Upwork is expected to have millions of freelancers listed on its platform, indicating the popularity and reliability of this platform among the freelance community.

Niche Specialisations:

Upwork has seen an increase in professionals offering niche specializations. These range from artificial intelligence experts to sustainability consultants, indicative of a trend toward highly specialized and skilled freelancers.

Global Reach:

Upwork has a global user base spanning over 180 countries, establishing it as a truly international platform. This enables freelancers to tap into opportunities from across the globe, broadening their horizons and prospects.

Average Hourly Rate:

The average hourly rate for professionals on Upwork spans a broad range depending on expertise and experience.

Highly skilled freelancers can command higher rates, with the top 10% earning significantly above the average. Recognizing your value and positioning yourself in the market are key factors in earning potential.

Gig Economy:

Upwork has also been at the forefront of the gig economy, championing flexibility and remote work. It’s expected that by 2024, a larger proportion of professionals will identify as part of the gig economy, choosing project-based work over traditional employment.

All these trends and statistics demonstrate that Upwork will continue to be a significant player for freelancers. It provides opportunities for professionals to grow, earn, and seize international opportunities.

But remember, success on such platforms also depends on your initiative to improve your skills, understand market dynamics, and adapt to changing trends.

Fiverr Freelance Statistics

Fiverr's platform has been pivotal in defining the gig economy and shaping the freelancing market.

To understand the 2024 freelance industry better, let's analyze the key statistics about Fiverr's projections for the year.


The Number of Freelancers:

Analysts predict a substantial rise in the number of freelancers joining Fiverr in 2024, with a projected growth rate of 10 - 12%.

The Number of Jobs Completed:

Driven by the broader trend towards gig-based work, it is estimated that about 25 million jobs will be processed through Fiverr in 2024, marking an increase of 15% YOY.

Top Freelance Services:

The services gaining the most traction on Fiverr include digital marketing, tech services, graphics design, and business consulting.

Average Earnings:

While the earning potential varies greatly, freelancers on Fiverr are anticipated to make an average of $15-25 per hour in 2024, with top earners making $300+ per hour or more.

Moving forward, understanding platform-specific statistics such as these are integral for aspiring freelancers.

The intent is to aid you in making informed decisions about which platform might be most suited to your scope of work and anticipated career trajectory.

Remember, knowledge is power, and having these statistics at your disposal allows for a strategic approach toward conquering the freelance market.

Most Popular Freelance Marketplaces

Each of these platforms comes with distinct features and benefits that enhance the freelancing experience.

Here's a list of some of the best freelance marketplaces for you to consider in 2024.



Known for housing a broad range of project types, from short-term tasks to long-term contracts, Upwork is a popular choice for many freelancers. The platform features a combination of beginner-friendly jobs and expert-level projects, catering to freelancers of all experience levels.


Redefining the freelancing landscape with a unique model, Fiverr allows freelancers to post "gigs" outlining their services. This platform is particularly favored by creatives and digital marketing freelancers.


This platform is aimed at the top 3% of freelancers, ensuring high-quality and rewarding contracts for highly skilled professionals. Ideal for experienced freelancers in finance, software development, and project management.


Ranging from construction to accounting, SimplyHired accommodates a varied array of jobs, making it an exciting choice for freelancers looking to branch out into new sectors.


With a commitment to simplifying the freelance experience, Guru allows freelancers to showcase work samples, determine preferred payment terms, and collaborate with employers using workrooms.

For a larger list, I walk through more freelance platforms here:

Of course, the most popular platform for you will depend entirely on your own skills, experience, and personal preferences.

Factors to consider may include the platform's reputation, the type of clients it tends to attract, and the potential for long-term contracts.

By properly vetting each platform, you can ensure you’re providing your services in a marketplace that is not only popular but also right for you.

How Big Is The Freelance Market?

The freelance market is bigger than ever before, and it's poised to keep growing.

The size and worth of the global freelance market is nothing short of impressive.

From independent contractors and temporary workers to those who pursue multiple side hustles - they are all part of this expanding market.

According to a McKinsey Global Institute survey, about 20-30% of the working-age population in the United States and the European Union is engaged in independent work.

It's estimated that this gig economy will hit a staggering $500 billion by 2024.

The freelance job market has seen an unprecedented surge in the past few years, and the projections suggest that the upward trend will only continue.

With significant increases expected in the number of freelancing jobs and the earnings potential, we can expect the market size to increase proportionally.

By 2027, more than 50% of the US workforce will be engaged in some form of freelancing.

If these trends continue, by 2024, one can expect the size of the global freelance market to be substantially larger, forever changing the dynamics of the world's workforce.

So, you might be wondering, how can you secure a slice of this ever-increasing pie?

It's crucial to stay informed about the latest trends and skills demanded in the freelancing space, be adaptable and embrace change, and ensure that you're providing exceptional value to your clients, whatever your field of expertise may be.

5 Top Freelancing Trends To Watch In 2024

Keep an eye on these five top freelancing trends that will shape the landscape of the gig economy in 2024:


1.) The Rise of Remote Work

With the aftermath of the pandemic still being felt worldwide, remote work is not just a temporary solution; it's becoming the norm.

Employers are embracing the concept and accessing a global talent pool. Freelancers are positioned to benefit most from this trend, providing their services from home or any location they choose.

2.) Increase of Specialised Skills

As industries evolve, there's an increasing demand for specialized skills in various sectors. Freelancers with niche expertise will see a larger market for their services.

Whether it's data analysis, cybersecurity, or content marketing, developing specialized skills could be your ticket to higher earnings and more job opportunities.

3.) Adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Automation Tools

Tools driven by artificial intelligence and automation are becoming more refined and accessible.

These tools can streamline a freelancer's workload, enabling you to deliver projects faster and more accurately. Staying updated with the latest technology tools in your field will be key to maintaining a competitive edge.

4.) Growth in Green and Sustainable Jobs

In the wake of climate change, there is a shift towards green and sustainable jobs. Creative freelancers in design, marketing, writing and more are being asked to promote and develop sustainable products, messages and brands. This demand is set to increase in 2024, making green skills a worthwhile addition to your portfolio.

5.) Flexibility over Rates

As more enterprises see the value in hiring freelancers, there’s a growing willingness to pay for quality. This is leading many freelancers to move away from competing on price and, instead, setting their rates based on the value they provide. Understanding and communicating your value as a freelancer will be vital.

So, there you have it.

Our top freelancing trends and statistics for 2024 🙂

By staying ahead of these trends, you'll be in a better position to adjust your services, hone your skills, and thrive in the changing freelancing landscape.

Thanks for reading!

While you're here, try out ClientManager for free. It’s the simple client onboarding & management tool for freelancers & agencies.

Until next time 🙂

About Author

Hey, I’m Kyle Prinsloo. Founder of ClientManager, StartupStarship & FreelanceFam.


I enjoy business and helping people create a business around their desired lifestyle. 

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