The State of the Freelance Market - September 2012

A Detailed Look at Freelance Professionals and Online Work


Surge in Freelancer Earnings

57% of freelancers reported an increase in earnings by working with businesses online. In addition, 19% said they more than doubled their freelance income in the past year. The uncertainty in the global economy is clearly not impacting online work as 42% of freelance workers claim that they are getting hired for more jobs.

Optimism for 2013

While the traditional job market continues to struggle worldwide, the future is optimistic for online work. The average freelancer expects to earn 43% more in 2013 than they did this year. This rise in earnings is translating into more jobs for all as 42% of independent professionals plan to hire other freelancers to build their businesses in 2013.
Freelancers Thrive as Independent Professionals
The majority of freelancers (62%) work on 2-6 projects at any given time. The survey shows that independent professionals prefer this new way of working with nearly 70% claiming they are happier and 79% are more productive working as a freelancer than as a full-time employee.

How Freelancers Work

How does your freelancing income compare to last year?

Please estimate the percentage in which your income grew.

Describe your level of freelance activity.

How many hours do you typically work on freelance jobs each week?

How many freelance jobs do you typically work on at one time?

How long did it take you to get hired for your first freelance job on Elance?

What percent of your business do you
complete online with a platform like Elance?

Have you hired other freelancers to help you in the past 12 months?

What Drives Freelancers

Why did you begin freelancing?

Describe your level of happiness at work.

How has the uncertainty in the global
economy influenced the number of
projects you are hired for?

As a freelancer, do you feel you are more productive now than if you were a traditional employee?

Do you have a preference with where your client is located?

What do you consider the most important aspect about freelancing?

Looking Ahead

Do you expect your freelance income will increase in 2013?

If yes, then how much of an increase do you predict?

Do you plan to hire other freelancers to help you in the next 12 months?

What areas to you expect to see the greatest growth in freelance jobs in 2013?

Who is Freelancing?

Male or female?

When were you born?

What is the highest level of education you have completed?

What are your primary skill sets?