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Freelancing in
America: 2016
October 6, 2016
Edelman Intelligence (Commissioned by Upwork and
Freelancers Union)
•  An online survey of 6,002 U.S. adults who have done paid work in the past 12 months
•  Data collected July 29, 2016 – August 24, 2016 by independent research firm Edelman Intelligence
•  This is the third year the survey has been conducted, allowing for trend data. Data collected in the
summer of 2014 is referenced throughout the analysis and indicates the percentage point change
over the past two years.
•  Results are weighted to ensure demographic representation in line with the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics’ 2016 Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey and the American Community
Survey
•  Overall margin of error of ±1.27% at the 95% level of confidence
Research methodology
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
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Audiences
NON-FREELANCERS
Definition:
-  Individuals who earned income
through work but have not engaged
in supplemental, temporary, project-
or contract-based work, within the
past 12 months.
Sample n = 3,953
FREELANCERS
Definition:
-  Individuals who have engaged in
supplemental, temporary, project-
or contract-based work, within the
past 12 months.
Sample n = 2,049
U.S. WORKERS OVERALL
Definition:
-  U.S. adults 18+ who have earned
income from work within the past 12
months, including both freelancers
and non-freelancers.
Sample n = 6,002
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Study Objectives
Upwork and Freelancers Union commissioned Edelman Intelligence, an independent research firm, to conduct
their third annual study of the U.S. freelance workforce with these objectives:
1.  Quantify the number of people freelancing in the U.S.
2.  Assess why people are freelancing
3.  Consider the role of freelancers in the 2016 presidential election
4.  Gauge the outlook for freelancing
This deck is organized in sections to detail results on each objective.
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Key Findings (by objective)
1.  Quantify the number of people freelancing in the U.S.
•  Freelancing is growing: 55 million people freelanced this year, or 35% of the US workforce (up from 34% in
2014 and 2015). This is an additional 2 million freelancers since 2014, the first year the study was conducted.
•  Freelancers contribute an estimated $1 trillion in freelance earnings to our economy.
2. Assess why people are freelancing
•  More people are choosing freelancing: 63% said they started more by choice than necessity, up 10
percentage points (from 53%) since 2014.
•  Biggest reasons people are choosing to freelance: flexibility and freedom are top drivers for full-time
freelancers; part-time freelancers are motivated by earning additional income.
•  Freelancers feel more positively about their work: 79% said freelancing is better than working a traditional
job. Freelancers are more likely to feel respected, engaged, empowered, and excited to start each day.
•  Full-time freelancers are able to work less than 40 hours per week (on average working 36 hours per week),
and the majority feel they have the right amount of work.
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Key Findings (by objective)
3. Consider the role of freelancers in the 2016 presidential election
•  85% of freelancers say they are likely to vote in the upcoming 2016 election (47 million votes).
•  Current candidate preference: 45% of freelancers likely to vote said they’d vote for Hillary Clinton,
33% for Donald Trump, 9% for Gary Johnson, and 12% don’t know.
•  68% said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate that supported freelancers’ interests.
•  Desire for discussion of freelancers’ interests - 70% of freelancers said we need more open
discussion of how to empower the independent workforce, an increase of 7 percentage points
(from 63%) since 2015.
•  Income predictability and related issues are most on freelancers’ minds. Among full-time
freelancers, top concerns in order were: 1) Being paid a fair rate, 2) Unpredictable income, and 3)
Debt.
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Key Findings (by objective)
4. Gauge the outlook for freelancing
•  Freelancing is changing: 63% of freelancers said perceptions of freelancing as a career are
becoming more positive. The majority of freelancers said that today, having a diversified portfolio
of clients is more stable than having one employer.
•  Technology is enabling freelancing: 73% say technology has made it easier to find freelance work,
up 4 percentage points (from 69%) since 2014. Additionally, 66% of freelancers say the amount of
work they have obtained online has increased in the past year.
•  The majority of freelancers that left a full-time job made more within a year.
•  Nearly half (46%) of full-time freelancers raised their rates in the past year, and more than half
(54%) plan to raise them next year.
•  Half of freelancers (50%) say there is no amount of money that would get them to take a
traditional job and stop freelancing.
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Quantifying the Freelance Workforce
Our survey rigorously screened respondents to determine the percent who earned freelance income in
the past year. Results showed that 35% of the U.S. workforce is freelancing.
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July 2016 estimate of the civilian labor force at 159 million, we
estimate that the U.S. workforce currently includes 55 million people freelancing, an increase of
2 million since our 2014 survey:
Freelancing is growing
53M
53.7M
55M
2014 2015 2016
Number of people freelancing
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How did we quantify freelancers?
Starting with the general U.S. workforce, each respondent ran through a series of questions that carefully qualified
their employment status and income in order to detect freelancing activity that might otherwise go unrecorded. The
following definitions and examples explain 5 segments of freelancers captured:
1.  Independent Contractors (35% of the independent workforce / 19.1 million professionals) – These “traditional” freelancers don't
have an employer and instead do freelance, temporary, or supplemental work on a project-to-project basis.
2.  Diversified Workers (28% / 15.2 million) – People with multiple sources of income from a mix of traditional employers and
freelance work. For example, someone who works the front desk at a dentist’s office 20 hours a week and fills out the rest of
his income driving for Uber and doing freelance writing.
3.  Moonlighters (25% / 13.5 million) – Professionals with a primary, traditional job who also moonlight doing freelance work. For
example, a corporate-employed web developer who does projects for non-profits in the evening.
4.  Freelance Business Owners (7% / 3.6 million) – These freelancers have one or more employees and consider themselves both a
freelancer and a business owner. For example, a social marketing guru who hires a team of other social marketers to build a
small agency, but still identifies as a freelancer.
5.  Temporary Workers (7% / 3.6 million) – Individuals with a single employer, client, job, or contract project where their
employment status is temporary. For example, a data entry worker employed by a staffing agency who is working on a three-
month assignment.
In order to qualify, freelancers had to have earned freelance income within the past 12 months.
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28%
15.2 M
The freelance workforce: 5 freelancer segments
25%
13.5 M
35%
19.1 M
7%
3.6 M
7%
3.6 M
-5 pts from 2014
Independent
Contractors
Diversified
Workers
Moonlighters
Temporary
Workers
Freelance Business
Owners
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-2 pts from 2014
+2 pts from 2014
-3 pts from 2014
+10 pts from 2014
-1 pts from 2015
+2 pts from 2015
-2 pts from 2015
+2 pts from 2015
Consistent with 2015
Note: Due to rounding, percentages add up to more than 100%
U.S. freelance earnings are a significant portion of our
economy
$$$
Freelance earnings in the
past year are an estimated
$1 trillion
Q31_2. Over the past year, how much money did you earn in total from freelancing, before taxes or other deductions? n = 2,049
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Why people freelance
Freelancing is increasingly a choice people are making
Better
79%
Worse
21%
…than working in a traditional
job with an employer
Freelancing is…
Choice
63% Necessity
37%
Which is closer to the reason you originally
started freelancing?
Q48: Which is closer to the reason you originally started freelancing? n=2,049
Q36_1. In general, you would say that…? [Much better + Somewhat better; Much worse + Somewhat worse] n = 2,049
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+10 pts from 2014
77% 73% 72% 70% 69% 68% 68% 68% 68% 65%
60%
65% 61% 60% 56% 56% 55% 53%
74%
51%
To be my own
boss
To have flexibility
in my schedule
(i.e. what days or
times I work)
To work from the
location of my
choosing
To be able to
choose my own
projects
To have a
schedule that
enables me to
pursue my
personal
passions
To be in control
of my own
financial future
To be able to
pursue work I am
passionate about
or find
meaningful
To have
independence
from things such
as office
dynamics
To earn extra
money
To be able to
spend more time
with family
Full-time freelancers Part-time freelancers
Full-time freelancers desire freedom and flexibility; part-
time are motivated by earning extra money
Top 10 Reasons for Freelancing
Part-time
freelancers more
likely to freelance
for extra money
Q35b. Please indicate the degree to which each of the following is a reason why you freelance? (Top 2 Box) n = 2,049
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Freelancers feel much more positively about their work –
particularly full-time freelancers
85% 85% 84%
80% 80%
75%77% 75%
79%
68%
72%
66%
69% 68%
72%
54% 56%
47%
Respected Engaged Accomplished Excited to start each day Empowered Free
Full-time freelancers Part-time freelancers Non-freelancers
How well do each of the following descriptions apply to your work?
+16 pts +17 pts +12 pts +26 pts +24 pts +28 pts
Difference between full-time and non-freelancers
Q21_1. Thinking about your work, how well do each of the following descriptions apply to how it makes you feel? (Top Two Box) n = 2,049
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87% 85% 85% 84% 84% 83% 82% 80% 77% 77%
40%
55%
68%
64%
57%
40%
69%
64%
59%
38%
Provides
flexibility to work
when I want
Allows me to
control my own
destiny
Provides a good
balance
(between my
work and
personal life)
Provides
opportunities to
learn new things
(challenging)
Provides the
opportunity to
pursue work I
am passionate
about or find
meaningful
Provides
flexibility to work
where I want
I’m able to give
my family the
time they need
when they need
it
Pays me
appropriately for
my work
Provides a
positive career
path for the
future
Provides
flexibility to
travel
Full-time freelancers Traditional full-time employees
How well do each of the following descriptions apply to your work?
Understanding the freelance lifestyle may help explain
freelancers’ positivity regarding their work
Q21_2. And how well do each of the following descriptions apply to your work? [Applies completely + Applies somewhat] n = 2,049
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On average, full-time
freelancers are working
36 hours per week 23%
52%
25%
I have more work than I
want
I have the amount of work
I want
I have less work than I
want
Which of the following best describes the amount of work you are currently doing?
[Full-time freelancers]
Q5: How many hours do you work in a typical week? n=501
Q31_1: Which of the following best describes the amount of work you are currently doing? n=501
Full-time freelancers are able to work less than 40
hours per week, and the majority feel they have the
right amount of work
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Freelancers and the election
47M freelancers are likely to vote, and many votes are
up for grabs
85%of freelancers say they are
likely to vote in
the 2016 general election
Republican
Donald Trump
33%
Democrat
Hillary Clinton
45%
Don't Know
12%
Libertarian
Gary Johnson
9%
If the election for president were held today, for whom would you vote?
[Among Freelancers Likely to Vote]
Q71_2. In November of 2016, there will be a general election for U.S. President, Congress, and other political offices. How likely are you to vote in this election? [Somewhat likely + Very likely] n = 2,049
Q72_3: If the election for president were held today, for whom would you vote? n = 1,755
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Freelancers call for more discussion of how to
empower independents, as candidates have remained
silent
15%
17%
27%
42%
A lot Some Not very much None
69% have heard little to no
discussion about freelancing from
candidates
70%
30%
Which is closer to your view around the discussion
in our country around freelancers?
[Freelancers]
We need
MORE OPEN
DISCUSSION
of how to
empower the
freelance segment
of our workforce
We already talk
about
freelancers
enough
+7 pts from 2015
Q73_1: How much discussion, if any, have you heard about freelancing by the candidates for president? n=2,049
Q77: Which is closer to your view of the discussion in our country around freelancers? n=2,049
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22
If candidates support freelancers’ interests, the impact on
votes is sizable
68%
26%
6%
How would a candidate for political office supporting your interests as a
freelancer impact your likelihood to vote for that candidate?
[Freelancers likely to vote]
More Likely It would make no difference Less Likely
Q74: If a candidate for political office supported your interests as a freelancer, how would that impact your vote? [Much more likely + Somewhat more likely; Much less
likely + Somewhat less likely] n = 1,755 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
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69%
67%
67%
67%
66%
65%
65%
65%
60%
% More likely to
vote for that
candidate
If a candidate for political office publicly made the following statements, how would it impact your vote?
[Freelancers likely to vote]
Freelancers are more likely to vote for candidates who support
benefits access, payment protection & promote freelance voice
I support U.S. freelancers
Freelancers should have a strong voice in deciding issues about their work
Freelancers need stronger protections to ensure that clients pay
All workers should have access to health and retirement benefits regardless of their employment status
The growth of the freelance economy is providing better work opportunities for Americans
Freelancers need a safety net that is portable and comprehensive
Freelancing is here to stay
The growth of the U.S. freelance workforce will be critical to ensure our economic competitiveness in the global economy
Freelancers are the backbone of the U.S. economy
Q74_1: If a candidate for political office publicly made the following statements, how would it impact your vote? [Top 2 box] n = 1,755
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Freelancers think businesses support their interests more
than government
19% 18% 18% 20% 22% 23% 25%
18% 19% 19% 21% 20%
29% 28%
13% 15%
26%
27% 26%
24% 26%
50% 47%
36% 32% 31%
24% 20%
Businesses
providing
marketplaces for
freelancers to find
clients like Upwork
Businesses that are
part of the sharing
economy like Uber
and Airbnb
President Barack
Obama
Hillary Clinton Donald Trump Local government
officials
Congress
Support for Freelancer Interests
[Freelancers likely to vote]
Support my
interests as a
freelancer
Work against my
interests as a
freelancer
Neither support nor
work against my
interests as a
freelancer
Don’t know
Q73. For each of the following groups or individuals, to the best of your knowledge, please indicate whether you think they support your interests as a freelancer,
work against your interests as a freelancer, or neither support nor work against your interest as a freelancer. n=1,755
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63% 66% 61% 66% 60%
42%
29% 26%
28% 24%
29%
42%
92% 91% 90% 89% 88%
85%
Very important Somewhat important
65% 69%
57%
72%
59%
37%
30% 25%
32%
22%
33%
45%
94% 94%
88%
93% 92%
82%
Very important Somewhat important
Among general issues, both freelancers and non-
freelancers rank the job market and healthcare as top
priorities
The Job Market Healthcare Education Terrorism Crime Trade
How important to you is it that the next president address each of the following issues?
Freelancers Non-freelancers
Q74_3: How important to you is it that the next President address each of the following issues? n = 6,002
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How would you rank each of the following issues in terms of your level of concern?
31%
23% 22% 24% 22% 22% 22%
15% 18%
14%
21%
22% 23% 20% 22% 21% 20%
20% 16%
19%
52%
45% 45% 44% 44% 43% 41%
35% 34% 33%
#1 Most Concerning #2 Most Concerning
29%
24% 25% 23%
19% 16%
24%
13% 14% 13%
18%
21% 23%
21%
19%
18%
22%
18% 17%
22%
47% 45%
48%
44%
37%
34%
46%
31% 30%
35%
#1 Most Concerning #2 Most Concerning
Freelancers Non-freelancers
Both freelancers and non-freelancers are worried about
debt, finding work and affordable healthcare
Q78_1: How would you rank each of the following issues in terms of your level of concern? [Most concerning + Second most concerning] n = 6,002 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
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Debt Difficulty finding
work
Access to
affordable
healthcare
High taxation rates Being paid
a fair rate
Unpredictable
income
Saving for
Retirement
Non-payment or
late payment for
work
Having
opportunities for
career growth
Being able to put
enough money
into savings
23% 26% 27% 26% 24%
19%
25%
18%
13%
23%
29% 21% 18% 19% 21%
25%
17%
21%
25%
15%
52%
46% 46% 45% 45% 44% 42%
39% 38% 37%
#1 Most Concerning #2 Most Concerning
21% 19%
33%
25%
18%
25% 24%
14%
11%
20%
19% 21%
23%
22%
18%
22% 22%
19%
17%
15%
39% 40%
56%
47%
36%
47% 46%
33%
28%
34%
#1 Most Concerning #2 Most Concerning
Being paid a
fair rate
Unpredictable
income
Debt Difficulty finding
work
Competition from
large businesses
Access to
affordable
healthcare
High taxation
rates
Competition from
other freelancers
Finding info about
benefit options
Having
opportunities for
career growth
Full-time freelancers Part-time freelancers
For full-time freelancers, issues related to income stability
are of top concern
Q78_1: How would you rank each of the following issues in terms of your level of concern? [Most concerning + Second most concerning] n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
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How would you rank each of the following issues in terms of your level of concern?
Main thing holding freelancers back from quitting their
job to freelance full-time: income predictability
57%
52%
44%
37%
32% 31%
27% 26% 24%
19%
Worries about
income
predictability
Concern that you
would be able to
find enough work
to support
yourself
Uncertainty that
you could “make
it” on your own
Desire to keep
company
sponsored
benefits such as
health insurance,
paid vacation,
and life insurance
Difficulty finding
freelance work
Uncertainty about
how to get started
Feeling
overwhelmed
about managing
your own
business (i.e.
legal, accounting,
marketing, etc.)
Pressure to have
a “traditional” job
Concern that you
would face higher
taxes
Worry about
losing
professional
contacts
What’s holding you back from quitting your primary job to work independently?
[Freelancers who want to move to full-time]
Q40_1: What is holding you back from quitting your primary job to work independently? n = 185
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Examining stability: Many freelancers see having a diverse
portfolio of clients as more secure than one employer
55% of independent
contractors and small business
owners work on ongoing or
repeat work with a consistent
set of clients
8%
10%
28%
32%
21%
Strongly agree
Somewhat agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Somewhat disagree
Strongly disagree
Having a diversified portfolio of multiple clients
is more secure than having one employer
[Freelancers]
53% of
freelancers
agree
Q44_1: Please indicate your agreement with the following statements about freelancing. [Strongly Agree + Somewhat Agree] n = 2,049
Q59_1: What type of freelance projects do you most frequently work on? n=848
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If not as concerned with income predictability, freelancers say
they’d spend more – positively impacting the economy
51% 49%
31%
69%
Yes No
Freelancers Non-freelancers
If you knew you would have a reliable income and access to unemployment benefits
to sustain you between jobs should it be necessary, would you spend more?
83%of freelancers believe that increased
opportunities for freelancers are a positive
step for our economy
Q31_7: Thinking about your regular spending habits, if you knew you would have a reliable income and access to unemployment benefits to sustain you between jobs should it be necessary,
would you spend more? n = 6,002
Q78: Which is closer to your view of the impact freelancers have on our economy? n=2,049
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44%
41%
34%
33%
31%
23%
56%
62%
13%
28%
12%
12%
Full-time freelancers Non-freelancers
Freelancers more likely to save for between jobs, education &
home buying; non-freelancers more likely to save for
retirement
60%
40%
67%
33%
Yes No
In the past year, did you put money into savings?
Full-time freelancers Non-freelancers
Emergency fund	
Retirement	
To sustain me between jobs	
Big ticket purchases	
Buying a home	
Education	
You said you put money into savings in the past year.
What were you saving money for?
[Respondents who put money into savings last year]
Q31_5: In the past year, did you put money into savings (i.e. retirement accounts, emergency savings account, health savings account, etc.)? n = 6,002
Q31_6: You said you put money into savings in the past year. What were you saving money for? n=3,935
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6%
11%
9%
11%
7%
0%
6%
11%
12%
23%
12%
7%
42%
35%
55%
10%
8%
12%
12%
16%
24%
21%
16%
16%
19%
31%
40%
20%
35%
21%
16%
19%
21%
23%
23%
24%
27%
27%
28%
42%
43%
47%
62%
70%
76%
Help filing taxes
Unemployment insurance
Workers Compensation
Skills training
Insurance to cover non-payments or late payments by clients
Affordable child care
Disability Insurance
Retirement savings account
Paid time off
Help finding work
Term Life Insurance
Dental Insurance
Student loan forgiveness
Liability Insurance
Health Insurance
Most Important Benefits/Support
[Full-time freelancers]
#1 Most Important #2 Most Important
For full-time freelancers, health insurance and student
loan forgiveness are key benefits
34%of full-time freelancers are unsure or
don’t know where to go for information
about benefits
Q78_3: How would you rank each of the following in terms of importance to support your chosen lifestyle? [Most important + Second most important] n = 501
Q78_4: Do you feel like you know where to go to obtain information on benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings accounts, and disability insurance? n = 501
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30%
20%
16%
15%
10%
7%
Through a plan that
I purchase myself
Medicare Medicaid Through my
spouse’s plan
Through my
employer’s plan
Through my
parents’ plan
20% of full-time freelancers are still uninsured, and
affordability remains a concern for those who purchase
their own health plans
How do you get your health insurance?
[Full-time freelancers with health insurance]
80%of full-time freelancers have
health insurance
54% of full-time freelancers who purchase a
plan themselves pay more than last year
Q78_5: Do you currently have health insurance? n = 501
Q78_6: How do you get your health insurance? n = 403 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
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Two-thirds of freelancers prefer purchasing their own
benefits
66%34%
More pay
and
purchasing
benefits on
your own
Less pay and
receiving a
benefits
package from
employer or
client
When it comes to benefits, which of the following options would you prefer?
[Freelancers]
Q78_9. When it comes to benefits, which of the following options would you prefer? n=2,049
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Policy messages preferred: better credit access, more
equitable taxes and freelance workforce learnings
68% 68%
65%
62%
57%
53%
Freelancers should have the
same access to credit that
traditional employees have
Freelancing has a positive
impact on the U.S.
economy.
We need a simpler and
more equitable tax structure
to better support freelancers
We need to measure the
size and impact of the
independent workforce to
better understand participant
needs
Policymakers should study
solutions to provide
protection against pay gaps
for freelancers
We should create a
bipartisan commission
focused on America’s
changing workforce
Please indicate your agreement with the following statements
[Freelancers likely to vote]
Q74_2: Please indicate your agreement with the following statements. [Strongly agree + Somewhat agree] n=1,755
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38%
23%
20% 19%
Policymakers should better understand
the freelance workforce and its
economic impact
Policymakers should invest in education
that teaches the right mix of skills to
prepare workers for the 21st century
economy
Policymakers should ensure benefit
options are available regardless of
employment status, including to
independent professionals
Policymakers should support the growth
and proliferation of freelance work
#1 best role for policymakers with regard to the freelance workforce
[Freelancers likely to vote]
Asked to rank top role for policymakers, studying the
freelance workforce to better understand jumps out
Q78_10: What are the best two roles for policymakers with regard to the freelance workforce? n=1,755
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Freelancing and the Future
65%
63%
60% 60%
57%
More people are choosing to work
independently
Perceptions of freelancing as a
career are becoming more positive
Freelancing has become more
respected as a career path
There are more organizations
(coworking, networking groups,
jobs boards, etc.) to support
freelancers
There is greater demand for
freelancers
Perceptions of freelancing are changing
59% of freelancers think the job market has
changed within the past 3 years
What do you think is different about the freelance job market today compared to 3 years ago?
[Freelancers who have perceived change]
Q52: How much has the freelance job market today changed compared to 3 years ago? [Top 4 box] n = 2,049
Q53: What do you think is different about the freelance job market today compared to 3 years ago? n = 1,973
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 38
84%of freelancers believe the best days
are ahead for freelancing
Freelancers see their best days ahead and say there
will be more opportunities for freelancers in the future
Fewer
opportunities
14%
More
Opportunities
86%
Do you believe there will be more or fewer
opportunities in the future?
[Freelancers]
Q56: Do you believe there will be more or fewer opportunities for freelancers in the future? n = 2,049
Q57. How do you see the future of freelancing in general? n=2,049
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 39
46%
45%
9%
Increased No Change Decreased
Nearly half of all freelancers saw increased demand for
their services in the past year
In the past year, how have you seen the demand
for your freelance services change?
[Freelancers]
+14 pts from 2014
-6 pts from 2014
Q44. In the past year, have you seen the demand for your freelance services: [Increase a lot + Increase somewhat; Decrease a lot + Decrease somewhat] n = 2,049
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 40
51%
39%
10%
Increase Stay the same Decrease
And they expect their income from freelancing to
increase in the coming year
Q42: In the coming year, do you expect your income from freelancing to…n = 2,049
In the coming year, how do you expect your
income from freelancing to change?
[Freelancers]
+8 pts from 2014
-1 pt from 2014
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 41
46% of full-time freelancers raised their rate
during the past year…
…and more than half (54%) say they plan to
raise their rates next year
Nearly half of full-time freelancers raised their rates last
year and more than half plan to raise them next year
Q31_3: Did you raise your rate (i.e. how much you charge) during the past year? n=501
Q31_4: Do you plan to raise your rates next year? n=501
Yes
46%
No
54%
Yes
54%
No
46%
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 42
38%
20% 21%
9% 8%
3%
Immediately Less than 6
months
6 months –
1 year
1- 2 years 3- 5 years 6 years or
more
79% earned more within 1 year
Same
More
54%Less
32%
The same
14%
As a freelancer, do you earn more or less than when you had an
employer?
[Freelancers]
+12% from 2014
-6% from 2015
Of those who left a traditional job to freelance, over half
say they now make more than before
Q29b. As a freelancer now, do you earn more or less than when you had an employer? (freelancers who left a traditional job) n = 440; Q29c. After leaving your job with an employer,
how long did it take you to earn more as a freelancer than you did with an employer? (freelancers earned more after leaving traditional job) n = 239
How long did it take you to earn more as a freelancer than
you did with an employer?
[Freelancers who earned more after leaving a traditional job]
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 43
And the majority of freelancers agree technology has
made it easier to find freelance work
Q52: How much has the freelance job market today changed compared to 3 years ago? [Top 4 box] n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 44
73%Agree that technology has made it easier to find
freelance work
No
46%
Yes
54%
Have you ever obtained a freelance project online?
[Freelancers]
20%
31%
24%
16%
4% 5%
Less than 24
hours
1-3 days 4-6 days 1-2 weeks 3-4 weeks More than a
month
51% find a job in less than 3 days
More freelancers are obtaining projects online, with half
finding them in less than three days
How long on average does it take you to find freelance projects that you
look for online?
[Freelancers who have found work online]
An increasing trend:
•  2014 - 42% had
done a freelance
project online
•  2015 - 51% had
obtained work online
Q60. Have you ever obtained a freelance project online? (2015/2016) n = 2,049
Q61. How long on average does it take you to find freelance projects that you look for online? (i.e. between looking for an opportunity and starting work of it) n = 1,084
Q59. Have you ever done a freelance project online – meaning work that you found and performed via the Internet? (2014) n = 1,720
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 45
More freelancers turning to online sources such as social
media, freelance marketplaces and sharing economy sites
45%
40%
36%
28%
24%
21%
20%
18%
16%
15%
14%
12%
5%
Friends and family
Professional contacts
Social media
Online ads/classifieds
Online job boards
Online freelance marketplaces
Previous employer (freelance)
Local newspaper
Previous employer (full-time)
Specialized freelance websites
Employment agency / staffing firm
Sharing economy websites or apps
Other
Where do you typically go to find freelance work?
[Freelancers] 2014 2015
55% 43%
38% 33%
n/a 31%
25% 27%
25% 25%
n/a 19%
21% 19%
14% 16%
9% 12%
n/a 14%
9% 12%
n/a 10%
9% 8%
Q59: Where do you typically go to find freelance work? n=2,049
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 46
Previous Study Results
[CATEGORY
NAME]
[VALUE]
Decreased
somewhat
4%
Stayed about
the same
29%
Increased
somewhat
37%
Increased a lot
29%
How has the percentage of your freelancing work obtained
online (websites, apps, etc.), as compared to offline, changed
in the past year?
[Freelancers who have found work online]
Two-thirds of freelancers say the portion of their work
found online increased this year
66% of freelancers
say the amount of
work they have
obtained online has
increased over the
past year
Q61_1: How has the percentage of your freelancing work obtained online (websites, apps, etc.), as compared to offline, changed in the past year? n = 1,084
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 47
Over half of freelancers have done training within the last
6 months – more than non-freelancers
Q21_3: When was the last time you participated in any skill-related education or training? n = 6,002
13%
20%
25%
31%
9%
10%17%
18%
17%
13%
18%
8%
Freelancers Non-Freelancers
Within the last week
Within the last month
Within the last 6
months
Within the last year
Over a year ago
Never
When was the last time you participated in any skill-related education or training?
[Freelancers]
53% participated in
training within the last
6 months
39% participated
in training within
the last 6 months
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 48
Freelancers opt in to training to strengthen skills, while
non-freelancers more likely to do it as a job requirement
Q21_5. Why do you participate in skill related education or training? n = 5,008
44%
38% 38%
34%35%
27%
56%
21%
To get more work by acquiring skills
in higher demand
To earn more by getting higher-
paying skills
It is a job requirement It is a great way to meet people in
order to expand my professional
network
Freelancers Non-Freelancers
Why do you participate in skill-related education or training?
[Among those who participate in training]
Non-freelancers are most likely to
have participated in training
because it is a job requirement
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 49
And this training pays off – nearly half say clients seek
their services for specialized skills that are hard to find
Q59_2: What would you say are the top three reasons clients seek your freelance services? n= 848
46%
40%
35% 35%
28%
22%
I have a specialized set of
skills that are hard to find in
many places
My services are less
expensive than it would be to
do the work in house
I have a breadth of
experience from working with
multiple clients
I have a deep level of
expertise stemming from a
long career in my field
I have a specialized set of
skills that businesses don’t
always need outside of
specific projects
I have more training than a
typical employee
I have a specialized set of
skills that are hard to find in
many places
My services are less
expensive than it would be
to do the work in-house
I have a breadth of
experience from working
with multiple clients
I have a deep level of
expertise stemming from a
long career in my field
I have a specialized set of
skills that businesses don’t
always need outside of
specific projects
I have more training than a
typical employee
Top reasons clients seek your freelance services
[Independent Contractors and Freelance Business Owners]
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 50
Half of freelancers say they wouldn’t go back to a
traditional job, no matter how much they’re offered
Q29a: In the past, did you quit or leave a job with an employer in order to freelance? n=2,049
Q50e. How much more would a traditional job with an employer need to pay in order for you to definitely take that traditional job and stop freelancing? n = 2,049
24%
2%
5%
8%
6%
5%
50%
How much more would a traditional job with an employer need to pay in order for
you to definitely take that traditional job and stop freelancing?
[Freelancers]
$50,000-
$99,999
$100K+
There is no amount of
money where I would
definitely take a
traditional job
>$5,000
$5,000-
$9,999
$10,000-
$19,999
$20,000-
$49,000
<$5,000
22%of freelancers have quit a job with an
employer in order to freelance
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 51
Non-freelancers are increasingly open to freelancing
Yes
81%
No
19%
Would you be willing to do additional work outside of your primary job if it
was available and enabled you to make more money?
[Non-freelancers]
Q21. Would you be willing to do additional work outside your primary job(s) if it was available and enabled you to make more money? n = 3,953
+1 pt from 2014
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 52
Q11: Do you have an employer (i.e. a company that employs you)? n=6,002
Q12: Do you have more than one employer, job, or contract project? n=4,134
Q13: Do you do any work outside of your primary position to supplement your income or earn additional money? n=3,293
Q37. Have you ever considered quitting your primary job in order to work completely independently? (Moonlighters) =503
Yes
37%
No
63%
Have you considered quitting your job in
order to work completely independently?
13.5 Million
Moonlighters
Workers with a primary employer
who have done work outside of
their main job to earn additional
money within the past year
If these Moonlighters quit their
jobs, that would be nearly
5M
New Independent
Contractors
Many individuals currently freelancing part-time are
thinking about making the leap to independence
+1 pt from 2014
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 53
Who Freelancers Are
While the majority of freelancers identify as part-time,
the number of full-time freelancers is on the rise
Full-time freelancer
25%
Part-time freelancer
51%
Full-time employee
who earns extra
income from
freelance work
19%
Other
5%
Which of the following best describes your current freelance work?
[Freelancers]
Q31: Which of the following best describes your current freelance work? n = 2,049
-8 pts from 2014
+1 pts from 2015
+8 pts from 2014
-1 pts from 2015
Consistent with 2014
Consistent with 2015
Consistent with 2014
-1 pts from 2015
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 55
The gender split among freelancers is fairly even
54%
46%
53%
47%
Male Female
What gender do you more closely identify with?
Freelancers U.S. workers overall
Q1: What gender do you more closely identify with? Freelancers n = 2,049; U.S. workers overall n = 6,002
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 56
More millennials and members of Gen Z are freelancing
than any other age group
53% 57%
66%
72% 72%
47% 43%
34%
28% 28%
18-21 22-34 35-44 45-54 55+
Freelance Participation by Age
Non-Freelancers Freelancers
Q2: What is your current age? n = n = 6,002
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 57
Freelancers come from a variety of educational
backgrounds
32%
15% 14%
24%
15%
31%
16%
14%
25%
14%
HS grad or less Some college but no degree Associate degree Bachelor's degree Post grad
What is the highest level of school you have completed?
Freelancers U.S. Workers Overall
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 58Q68: What is the highest level of school you have completed or the highest degree you have received? n = 6,002
Freelancers live all over the country – in cities, suburbs
and rural areas
16%
20%
40%
24%
18%
22%
37%
23%
Northeast Midwest South West
What region do you live in?
Freelancers U.S. Workers Overall
35%
47%
18%
31%
50%
19%
Urban Suburban Rural
What type of area do you currently live in?
Freelancers U.S. Workers Overall
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 59Q70: What state do you live in? n = 6,002
Q71: What type of area do you currently live in? n = 6,002
Freelancers are slightly more racially/ethnically diverse
than U.S. workers overall
65%
16%
11%
5%
3%
68%
14%
10%
6%
2%
White Hispanic or Latino African or African descent Asian-American/ Asian All others
Which of the following best describes your ethnicity, racial background or heritage?
Freelancers U.S. Workers Overall
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 60Q3A: Which of the following best describes your ethnicity, racial background or heritage? n = 6,002
Appendix
U.S. Workers Overall: U.S. adults 18+ who have earned income from work within the past 12 months, including
both freelancers and non-freelancers.
Freelancers: Individuals who have engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within
the past 12 months.
Full-Time Freelancers: Individuals that describe their current freelance work status as “full-time freelancer.”
Part-Time Freelancers: Individuals that describe their current freelance work status as “part-time freelancer.”
Non-Freelancers: Individuals who earned income through work but have not engaged in supplemental,
temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months.
Non-Freelancers Employed Full-time: Individuals that describe their current work status as “employed full-time”
and do not do any additional work outside of their primary job to supplement their income.
Glossary
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 62
This study commissioned by:
© COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC.
| 63
Upwork
Upwork is the world’s largest freelancing website. As an increasingly connected and independent workforce goes online,
knowledge work —like software, shopping and content before it— is shifting online as well. This shift is making it easier for
clients to connect and work with talent in near real-time and is freeing professionals everywhere from having to work at a set time
and place. Freelancers are earning more than $1 billion annually via Upwork. Upwork is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif.,
with offices in San Francisco and Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit www.upwork.com, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Freelancers Union
Freelancers Union’s 300,000 members believe all workers should have the freedom to build meaningful, connected, and
independent lives – backed by a system of mutual and public support. More than one in three working Americans is an
independent worker. That’s 55 million people – and growing. They are lawyers and nannies, graphic designers and temps.
Freelancers Union serves the needs of this growing independent sector. For more information, visit www.freelancersunion.org.
For more details go to:
www.upwork.com/i/freelancinginamerica2016

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Freelancing in America: 2016

  • 1. Freelancing in America: 2016 October 6, 2016 Edelman Intelligence (Commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union)
  • 2. •  An online survey of 6,002 U.S. adults who have done paid work in the past 12 months •  Data collected July 29, 2016 – August 24, 2016 by independent research firm Edelman Intelligence •  This is the third year the survey has been conducted, allowing for trend data. Data collected in the summer of 2014 is referenced throughout the analysis and indicates the percentage point change over the past two years. •  Results are weighted to ensure demographic representation in line with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey •  Overall margin of error of ±1.27% at the 95% level of confidence Research methodology © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 2
  • 3. Audiences NON-FREELANCERS Definition: -  Individuals who earned income through work but have not engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months. Sample n = 3,953 FREELANCERS Definition: -  Individuals who have engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months. Sample n = 2,049 U.S. WORKERS OVERALL Definition: -  U.S. adults 18+ who have earned income from work within the past 12 months, including both freelancers and non-freelancers. Sample n = 6,002 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 3
  • 4. Study Objectives Upwork and Freelancers Union commissioned Edelman Intelligence, an independent research firm, to conduct their third annual study of the U.S. freelance workforce with these objectives: 1.  Quantify the number of people freelancing in the U.S. 2.  Assess why people are freelancing 3.  Consider the role of freelancers in the 2016 presidential election 4.  Gauge the outlook for freelancing This deck is organized in sections to detail results on each objective. © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 4
  • 5. Key Findings (by objective) 1.  Quantify the number of people freelancing in the U.S. •  Freelancing is growing: 55 million people freelanced this year, or 35% of the US workforce (up from 34% in 2014 and 2015). This is an additional 2 million freelancers since 2014, the first year the study was conducted. •  Freelancers contribute an estimated $1 trillion in freelance earnings to our economy. 2. Assess why people are freelancing •  More people are choosing freelancing: 63% said they started more by choice than necessity, up 10 percentage points (from 53%) since 2014. •  Biggest reasons people are choosing to freelance: flexibility and freedom are top drivers for full-time freelancers; part-time freelancers are motivated by earning additional income. •  Freelancers feel more positively about their work: 79% said freelancing is better than working a traditional job. Freelancers are more likely to feel respected, engaged, empowered, and excited to start each day. •  Full-time freelancers are able to work less than 40 hours per week (on average working 36 hours per week), and the majority feel they have the right amount of work. © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 5
  • 6. Key Findings (by objective) 3. Consider the role of freelancers in the 2016 presidential election •  85% of freelancers say they are likely to vote in the upcoming 2016 election (47 million votes). •  Current candidate preference: 45% of freelancers likely to vote said they’d vote for Hillary Clinton, 33% for Donald Trump, 9% for Gary Johnson, and 12% don’t know. •  68% said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate that supported freelancers’ interests. •  Desire for discussion of freelancers’ interests - 70% of freelancers said we need more open discussion of how to empower the independent workforce, an increase of 7 percentage points (from 63%) since 2015. •  Income predictability and related issues are most on freelancers’ minds. Among full-time freelancers, top concerns in order were: 1) Being paid a fair rate, 2) Unpredictable income, and 3) Debt. © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 6
  • 7. Key Findings (by objective) 4. Gauge the outlook for freelancing •  Freelancing is changing: 63% of freelancers said perceptions of freelancing as a career are becoming more positive. The majority of freelancers said that today, having a diversified portfolio of clients is more stable than having one employer. •  Technology is enabling freelancing: 73% say technology has made it easier to find freelance work, up 4 percentage points (from 69%) since 2014. Additionally, 66% of freelancers say the amount of work they have obtained online has increased in the past year. •  The majority of freelancers that left a full-time job made more within a year. •  Nearly half (46%) of full-time freelancers raised their rates in the past year, and more than half (54%) plan to raise them next year. •  Half of freelancers (50%) say there is no amount of money that would get them to take a traditional job and stop freelancing. © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 7
  • 9. Our survey rigorously screened respondents to determine the percent who earned freelance income in the past year. Results showed that 35% of the U.S. workforce is freelancing. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July 2016 estimate of the civilian labor force at 159 million, we estimate that the U.S. workforce currently includes 55 million people freelancing, an increase of 2 million since our 2014 survey: Freelancing is growing 53M 53.7M 55M 2014 2015 2016 Number of people freelancing © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 9
  • 10. How did we quantify freelancers? Starting with the general U.S. workforce, each respondent ran through a series of questions that carefully qualified their employment status and income in order to detect freelancing activity that might otherwise go unrecorded. The following definitions and examples explain 5 segments of freelancers captured: 1.  Independent Contractors (35% of the independent workforce / 19.1 million professionals) – These “traditional” freelancers don't have an employer and instead do freelance, temporary, or supplemental work on a project-to-project basis. 2.  Diversified Workers (28% / 15.2 million) – People with multiple sources of income from a mix of traditional employers and freelance work. For example, someone who works the front desk at a dentist’s office 20 hours a week and fills out the rest of his income driving for Uber and doing freelance writing. 3.  Moonlighters (25% / 13.5 million) – Professionals with a primary, traditional job who also moonlight doing freelance work. For example, a corporate-employed web developer who does projects for non-profits in the evening. 4.  Freelance Business Owners (7% / 3.6 million) – These freelancers have one or more employees and consider themselves both a freelancer and a business owner. For example, a social marketing guru who hires a team of other social marketers to build a small agency, but still identifies as a freelancer. 5.  Temporary Workers (7% / 3.6 million) – Individuals with a single employer, client, job, or contract project where their employment status is temporary. For example, a data entry worker employed by a staffing agency who is working on a three- month assignment. In order to qualify, freelancers had to have earned freelance income within the past 12 months. © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 10
  • 11. 28% 15.2 M The freelance workforce: 5 freelancer segments 25% 13.5 M 35% 19.1 M 7% 3.6 M 7% 3.6 M -5 pts from 2014 Independent Contractors Diversified Workers Moonlighters Temporary Workers Freelance Business Owners © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 11 -2 pts from 2014 +2 pts from 2014 -3 pts from 2014 +10 pts from 2014 -1 pts from 2015 +2 pts from 2015 -2 pts from 2015 +2 pts from 2015 Consistent with 2015 Note: Due to rounding, percentages add up to more than 100%
  • 12. U.S. freelance earnings are a significant portion of our economy $$$ Freelance earnings in the past year are an estimated $1 trillion Q31_2. Over the past year, how much money did you earn in total from freelancing, before taxes or other deductions? n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 12
  • 14. Freelancing is increasingly a choice people are making Better 79% Worse 21% …than working in a traditional job with an employer Freelancing is… Choice 63% Necessity 37% Which is closer to the reason you originally started freelancing? Q48: Which is closer to the reason you originally started freelancing? n=2,049 Q36_1. In general, you would say that…? [Much better + Somewhat better; Much worse + Somewhat worse] n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 14 +10 pts from 2014
  • 15. 77% 73% 72% 70% 69% 68% 68% 68% 68% 65% 60% 65% 61% 60% 56% 56% 55% 53% 74% 51% To be my own boss To have flexibility in my schedule (i.e. what days or times I work) To work from the location of my choosing To be able to choose my own projects To have a schedule that enables me to pursue my personal passions To be in control of my own financial future To be able to pursue work I am passionate about or find meaningful To have independence from things such as office dynamics To earn extra money To be able to spend more time with family Full-time freelancers Part-time freelancers Full-time freelancers desire freedom and flexibility; part- time are motivated by earning extra money Top 10 Reasons for Freelancing Part-time freelancers more likely to freelance for extra money Q35b. Please indicate the degree to which each of the following is a reason why you freelance? (Top 2 Box) n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 15
  • 16. Freelancers feel much more positively about their work – particularly full-time freelancers 85% 85% 84% 80% 80% 75%77% 75% 79% 68% 72% 66% 69% 68% 72% 54% 56% 47% Respected Engaged Accomplished Excited to start each day Empowered Free Full-time freelancers Part-time freelancers Non-freelancers How well do each of the following descriptions apply to your work? +16 pts +17 pts +12 pts +26 pts +24 pts +28 pts Difference between full-time and non-freelancers Q21_1. Thinking about your work, how well do each of the following descriptions apply to how it makes you feel? (Top Two Box) n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 16
  • 17. 87% 85% 85% 84% 84% 83% 82% 80% 77% 77% 40% 55% 68% 64% 57% 40% 69% 64% 59% 38% Provides flexibility to work when I want Allows me to control my own destiny Provides a good balance (between my work and personal life) Provides opportunities to learn new things (challenging) Provides the opportunity to pursue work I am passionate about or find meaningful Provides flexibility to work where I want I’m able to give my family the time they need when they need it Pays me appropriately for my work Provides a positive career path for the future Provides flexibility to travel Full-time freelancers Traditional full-time employees How well do each of the following descriptions apply to your work? Understanding the freelance lifestyle may help explain freelancers’ positivity regarding their work Q21_2. And how well do each of the following descriptions apply to your work? [Applies completely + Applies somewhat] n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 17
  • 18. On average, full-time freelancers are working 36 hours per week 23% 52% 25% I have more work than I want I have the amount of work I want I have less work than I want Which of the following best describes the amount of work you are currently doing? [Full-time freelancers] Q5: How many hours do you work in a typical week? n=501 Q31_1: Which of the following best describes the amount of work you are currently doing? n=501 Full-time freelancers are able to work less than 40 hours per week, and the majority feel they have the right amount of work © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 18
  • 20. 47M freelancers are likely to vote, and many votes are up for grabs 85%of freelancers say they are likely to vote in the 2016 general election Republican Donald Trump 33% Democrat Hillary Clinton 45% Don't Know 12% Libertarian Gary Johnson 9% If the election for president were held today, for whom would you vote? [Among Freelancers Likely to Vote] Q71_2. In November of 2016, there will be a general election for U.S. President, Congress, and other political offices. How likely are you to vote in this election? [Somewhat likely + Very likely] n = 2,049 Q72_3: If the election for president were held today, for whom would you vote? n = 1,755 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 20
  • 21. Freelancers call for more discussion of how to empower independents, as candidates have remained silent 15% 17% 27% 42% A lot Some Not very much None 69% have heard little to no discussion about freelancing from candidates 70% 30% Which is closer to your view around the discussion in our country around freelancers? [Freelancers] We need MORE OPEN DISCUSSION of how to empower the freelance segment of our workforce We already talk about freelancers enough +7 pts from 2015 Q73_1: How much discussion, if any, have you heard about freelancing by the candidates for president? n=2,049 Q77: Which is closer to your view of the discussion in our country around freelancers? n=2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 21
  • 22. 22 If candidates support freelancers’ interests, the impact on votes is sizable 68% 26% 6% How would a candidate for political office supporting your interests as a freelancer impact your likelihood to vote for that candidate? [Freelancers likely to vote] More Likely It would make no difference Less Likely Q74: If a candidate for political office supported your interests as a freelancer, how would that impact your vote? [Much more likely + Somewhat more likely; Much less likely + Somewhat less likely] n = 1,755 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 22
  • 23. 69% 67% 67% 67% 66% 65% 65% 65% 60% % More likely to vote for that candidate If a candidate for political office publicly made the following statements, how would it impact your vote? [Freelancers likely to vote] Freelancers are more likely to vote for candidates who support benefits access, payment protection & promote freelance voice I support U.S. freelancers Freelancers should have a strong voice in deciding issues about their work Freelancers need stronger protections to ensure that clients pay All workers should have access to health and retirement benefits regardless of their employment status The growth of the freelance economy is providing better work opportunities for Americans Freelancers need a safety net that is portable and comprehensive Freelancing is here to stay The growth of the U.S. freelance workforce will be critical to ensure our economic competitiveness in the global economy Freelancers are the backbone of the U.S. economy Q74_1: If a candidate for political office publicly made the following statements, how would it impact your vote? [Top 2 box] n = 1,755 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 23
  • 24. Freelancers think businesses support their interests more than government 19% 18% 18% 20% 22% 23% 25% 18% 19% 19% 21% 20% 29% 28% 13% 15% 26% 27% 26% 24% 26% 50% 47% 36% 32% 31% 24% 20% Businesses providing marketplaces for freelancers to find clients like Upwork Businesses that are part of the sharing economy like Uber and Airbnb President Barack Obama Hillary Clinton Donald Trump Local government officials Congress Support for Freelancer Interests [Freelancers likely to vote] Support my interests as a freelancer Work against my interests as a freelancer Neither support nor work against my interests as a freelancer Don’t know Q73. For each of the following groups or individuals, to the best of your knowledge, please indicate whether you think they support your interests as a freelancer, work against your interests as a freelancer, or neither support nor work against your interest as a freelancer. n=1,755 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 24
  • 25. 63% 66% 61% 66% 60% 42% 29% 26% 28% 24% 29% 42% 92% 91% 90% 89% 88% 85% Very important Somewhat important 65% 69% 57% 72% 59% 37% 30% 25% 32% 22% 33% 45% 94% 94% 88% 93% 92% 82% Very important Somewhat important Among general issues, both freelancers and non- freelancers rank the job market and healthcare as top priorities The Job Market Healthcare Education Terrorism Crime Trade How important to you is it that the next president address each of the following issues? Freelancers Non-freelancers Q74_3: How important to you is it that the next President address each of the following issues? n = 6,002 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 25
  • 26. How would you rank each of the following issues in terms of your level of concern? 31% 23% 22% 24% 22% 22% 22% 15% 18% 14% 21% 22% 23% 20% 22% 21% 20% 20% 16% 19% 52% 45% 45% 44% 44% 43% 41% 35% 34% 33% #1 Most Concerning #2 Most Concerning 29% 24% 25% 23% 19% 16% 24% 13% 14% 13% 18% 21% 23% 21% 19% 18% 22% 18% 17% 22% 47% 45% 48% 44% 37% 34% 46% 31% 30% 35% #1 Most Concerning #2 Most Concerning Freelancers Non-freelancers Both freelancers and non-freelancers are worried about debt, finding work and affordable healthcare Q78_1: How would you rank each of the following issues in terms of your level of concern? [Most concerning + Second most concerning] n = 6,002 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 26 Debt Difficulty finding work Access to affordable healthcare High taxation rates Being paid a fair rate Unpredictable income Saving for Retirement Non-payment or late payment for work Having opportunities for career growth Being able to put enough money into savings
  • 27. 23% 26% 27% 26% 24% 19% 25% 18% 13% 23% 29% 21% 18% 19% 21% 25% 17% 21% 25% 15% 52% 46% 46% 45% 45% 44% 42% 39% 38% 37% #1 Most Concerning #2 Most Concerning 21% 19% 33% 25% 18% 25% 24% 14% 11% 20% 19% 21% 23% 22% 18% 22% 22% 19% 17% 15% 39% 40% 56% 47% 36% 47% 46% 33% 28% 34% #1 Most Concerning #2 Most Concerning Being paid a fair rate Unpredictable income Debt Difficulty finding work Competition from large businesses Access to affordable healthcare High taxation rates Competition from other freelancers Finding info about benefit options Having opportunities for career growth Full-time freelancers Part-time freelancers For full-time freelancers, issues related to income stability are of top concern Q78_1: How would you rank each of the following issues in terms of your level of concern? [Most concerning + Second most concerning] n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 27 How would you rank each of the following issues in terms of your level of concern?
  • 28. Main thing holding freelancers back from quitting their job to freelance full-time: income predictability 57% 52% 44% 37% 32% 31% 27% 26% 24% 19% Worries about income predictability Concern that you would be able to find enough work to support yourself Uncertainty that you could “make it” on your own Desire to keep company sponsored benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation, and life insurance Difficulty finding freelance work Uncertainty about how to get started Feeling overwhelmed about managing your own business (i.e. legal, accounting, marketing, etc.) Pressure to have a “traditional” job Concern that you would face higher taxes Worry about losing professional contacts What’s holding you back from quitting your primary job to work independently? [Freelancers who want to move to full-time] Q40_1: What is holding you back from quitting your primary job to work independently? n = 185 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 28
  • 29. Examining stability: Many freelancers see having a diverse portfolio of clients as more secure than one employer 55% of independent contractors and small business owners work on ongoing or repeat work with a consistent set of clients 8% 10% 28% 32% 21% Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Having a diversified portfolio of multiple clients is more secure than having one employer [Freelancers] 53% of freelancers agree Q44_1: Please indicate your agreement with the following statements about freelancing. [Strongly Agree + Somewhat Agree] n = 2,049 Q59_1: What type of freelance projects do you most frequently work on? n=848 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 29
  • 30. If not as concerned with income predictability, freelancers say they’d spend more – positively impacting the economy 51% 49% 31% 69% Yes No Freelancers Non-freelancers If you knew you would have a reliable income and access to unemployment benefits to sustain you between jobs should it be necessary, would you spend more? 83%of freelancers believe that increased opportunities for freelancers are a positive step for our economy Q31_7: Thinking about your regular spending habits, if you knew you would have a reliable income and access to unemployment benefits to sustain you between jobs should it be necessary, would you spend more? n = 6,002 Q78: Which is closer to your view of the impact freelancers have on our economy? n=2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 30
  • 31. 44% 41% 34% 33% 31% 23% 56% 62% 13% 28% 12% 12% Full-time freelancers Non-freelancers Freelancers more likely to save for between jobs, education & home buying; non-freelancers more likely to save for retirement 60% 40% 67% 33% Yes No In the past year, did you put money into savings? Full-time freelancers Non-freelancers Emergency fund Retirement To sustain me between jobs Big ticket purchases Buying a home Education You said you put money into savings in the past year. What were you saving money for? [Respondents who put money into savings last year] Q31_5: In the past year, did you put money into savings (i.e. retirement accounts, emergency savings account, health savings account, etc.)? n = 6,002 Q31_6: You said you put money into savings in the past year. What were you saving money for? n=3,935 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 31
  • 32. 6% 11% 9% 11% 7% 0% 6% 11% 12% 23% 12% 7% 42% 35% 55% 10% 8% 12% 12% 16% 24% 21% 16% 16% 19% 31% 40% 20% 35% 21% 16% 19% 21% 23% 23% 24% 27% 27% 28% 42% 43% 47% 62% 70% 76% Help filing taxes Unemployment insurance Workers Compensation Skills training Insurance to cover non-payments or late payments by clients Affordable child care Disability Insurance Retirement savings account Paid time off Help finding work Term Life Insurance Dental Insurance Student loan forgiveness Liability Insurance Health Insurance Most Important Benefits/Support [Full-time freelancers] #1 Most Important #2 Most Important For full-time freelancers, health insurance and student loan forgiveness are key benefits 34%of full-time freelancers are unsure or don’t know where to go for information about benefits Q78_3: How would you rank each of the following in terms of importance to support your chosen lifestyle? [Most important + Second most important] n = 501 Q78_4: Do you feel like you know where to go to obtain information on benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings accounts, and disability insurance? n = 501 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 32
  • 33. 30% 20% 16% 15% 10% 7% Through a plan that I purchase myself Medicare Medicaid Through my spouse’s plan Through my employer’s plan Through my parents’ plan 20% of full-time freelancers are still uninsured, and affordability remains a concern for those who purchase their own health plans How do you get your health insurance? [Full-time freelancers with health insurance] 80%of full-time freelancers have health insurance 54% of full-time freelancers who purchase a plan themselves pay more than last year Q78_5: Do you currently have health insurance? n = 501 Q78_6: How do you get your health insurance? n = 403 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 33
  • 34. Two-thirds of freelancers prefer purchasing their own benefits 66%34% More pay and purchasing benefits on your own Less pay and receiving a benefits package from employer or client When it comes to benefits, which of the following options would you prefer? [Freelancers] Q78_9. When it comes to benefits, which of the following options would you prefer? n=2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 34
  • 35. Policy messages preferred: better credit access, more equitable taxes and freelance workforce learnings 68% 68% 65% 62% 57% 53% Freelancers should have the same access to credit that traditional employees have Freelancing has a positive impact on the U.S. economy. We need a simpler and more equitable tax structure to better support freelancers We need to measure the size and impact of the independent workforce to better understand participant needs Policymakers should study solutions to provide protection against pay gaps for freelancers We should create a bipartisan commission focused on America’s changing workforce Please indicate your agreement with the following statements [Freelancers likely to vote] Q74_2: Please indicate your agreement with the following statements. [Strongly agree + Somewhat agree] n=1,755 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 35
  • 36. 38% 23% 20% 19% Policymakers should better understand the freelance workforce and its economic impact Policymakers should invest in education that teaches the right mix of skills to prepare workers for the 21st century economy Policymakers should ensure benefit options are available regardless of employment status, including to independent professionals Policymakers should support the growth and proliferation of freelance work #1 best role for policymakers with regard to the freelance workforce [Freelancers likely to vote] Asked to rank top role for policymakers, studying the freelance workforce to better understand jumps out Q78_10: What are the best two roles for policymakers with regard to the freelance workforce? n=1,755 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 36
  • 38. 65% 63% 60% 60% 57% More people are choosing to work independently Perceptions of freelancing as a career are becoming more positive Freelancing has become more respected as a career path There are more organizations (coworking, networking groups, jobs boards, etc.) to support freelancers There is greater demand for freelancers Perceptions of freelancing are changing 59% of freelancers think the job market has changed within the past 3 years What do you think is different about the freelance job market today compared to 3 years ago? [Freelancers who have perceived change] Q52: How much has the freelance job market today changed compared to 3 years ago? [Top 4 box] n = 2,049 Q53: What do you think is different about the freelance job market today compared to 3 years ago? n = 1,973 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 38
  • 39. 84%of freelancers believe the best days are ahead for freelancing Freelancers see their best days ahead and say there will be more opportunities for freelancers in the future Fewer opportunities 14% More Opportunities 86% Do you believe there will be more or fewer opportunities in the future? [Freelancers] Q56: Do you believe there will be more or fewer opportunities for freelancers in the future? n = 2,049 Q57. How do you see the future of freelancing in general? n=2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 39
  • 40. 46% 45% 9% Increased No Change Decreased Nearly half of all freelancers saw increased demand for their services in the past year In the past year, how have you seen the demand for your freelance services change? [Freelancers] +14 pts from 2014 -6 pts from 2014 Q44. In the past year, have you seen the demand for your freelance services: [Increase a lot + Increase somewhat; Decrease a lot + Decrease somewhat] n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 40
  • 41. 51% 39% 10% Increase Stay the same Decrease And they expect their income from freelancing to increase in the coming year Q42: In the coming year, do you expect your income from freelancing to…n = 2,049 In the coming year, how do you expect your income from freelancing to change? [Freelancers] +8 pts from 2014 -1 pt from 2014 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 41
  • 42. 46% of full-time freelancers raised their rate during the past year… …and more than half (54%) say they plan to raise their rates next year Nearly half of full-time freelancers raised their rates last year and more than half plan to raise them next year Q31_3: Did you raise your rate (i.e. how much you charge) during the past year? n=501 Q31_4: Do you plan to raise your rates next year? n=501 Yes 46% No 54% Yes 54% No 46% © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 42
  • 43. 38% 20% 21% 9% 8% 3% Immediately Less than 6 months 6 months – 1 year 1- 2 years 3- 5 years 6 years or more 79% earned more within 1 year Same More 54%Less 32% The same 14% As a freelancer, do you earn more or less than when you had an employer? [Freelancers] +12% from 2014 -6% from 2015 Of those who left a traditional job to freelance, over half say they now make more than before Q29b. As a freelancer now, do you earn more or less than when you had an employer? (freelancers who left a traditional job) n = 440; Q29c. After leaving your job with an employer, how long did it take you to earn more as a freelancer than you did with an employer? (freelancers earned more after leaving traditional job) n = 239 How long did it take you to earn more as a freelancer than you did with an employer? [Freelancers who earned more after leaving a traditional job] © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 43
  • 44. And the majority of freelancers agree technology has made it easier to find freelance work Q52: How much has the freelance job market today changed compared to 3 years ago? [Top 4 box] n = 2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 44 73%Agree that technology has made it easier to find freelance work
  • 45. No 46% Yes 54% Have you ever obtained a freelance project online? [Freelancers] 20% 31% 24% 16% 4% 5% Less than 24 hours 1-3 days 4-6 days 1-2 weeks 3-4 weeks More than a month 51% find a job in less than 3 days More freelancers are obtaining projects online, with half finding them in less than three days How long on average does it take you to find freelance projects that you look for online? [Freelancers who have found work online] An increasing trend: •  2014 - 42% had done a freelance project online •  2015 - 51% had obtained work online Q60. Have you ever obtained a freelance project online? (2015/2016) n = 2,049 Q61. How long on average does it take you to find freelance projects that you look for online? (i.e. between looking for an opportunity and starting work of it) n = 1,084 Q59. Have you ever done a freelance project online – meaning work that you found and performed via the Internet? (2014) n = 1,720 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 45
  • 46. More freelancers turning to online sources such as social media, freelance marketplaces and sharing economy sites 45% 40% 36% 28% 24% 21% 20% 18% 16% 15% 14% 12% 5% Friends and family Professional contacts Social media Online ads/classifieds Online job boards Online freelance marketplaces Previous employer (freelance) Local newspaper Previous employer (full-time) Specialized freelance websites Employment agency / staffing firm Sharing economy websites or apps Other Where do you typically go to find freelance work? [Freelancers] 2014 2015 55% 43% 38% 33% n/a 31% 25% 27% 25% 25% n/a 19% 21% 19% 14% 16% 9% 12% n/a 14% 9% 12% n/a 10% 9% 8% Q59: Where do you typically go to find freelance work? n=2,049 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 46 Previous Study Results
  • 47. [CATEGORY NAME] [VALUE] Decreased somewhat 4% Stayed about the same 29% Increased somewhat 37% Increased a lot 29% How has the percentage of your freelancing work obtained online (websites, apps, etc.), as compared to offline, changed in the past year? [Freelancers who have found work online] Two-thirds of freelancers say the portion of their work found online increased this year 66% of freelancers say the amount of work they have obtained online has increased over the past year Q61_1: How has the percentage of your freelancing work obtained online (websites, apps, etc.), as compared to offline, changed in the past year? n = 1,084 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 47
  • 48. Over half of freelancers have done training within the last 6 months – more than non-freelancers Q21_3: When was the last time you participated in any skill-related education or training? n = 6,002 13% 20% 25% 31% 9% 10%17% 18% 17% 13% 18% 8% Freelancers Non-Freelancers Within the last week Within the last month Within the last 6 months Within the last year Over a year ago Never When was the last time you participated in any skill-related education or training? [Freelancers] 53% participated in training within the last 6 months 39% participated in training within the last 6 months © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 48
  • 49. Freelancers opt in to training to strengthen skills, while non-freelancers more likely to do it as a job requirement Q21_5. Why do you participate in skill related education or training? n = 5,008 44% 38% 38% 34%35% 27% 56% 21% To get more work by acquiring skills in higher demand To earn more by getting higher- paying skills It is a job requirement It is a great way to meet people in order to expand my professional network Freelancers Non-Freelancers Why do you participate in skill-related education or training? [Among those who participate in training] Non-freelancers are most likely to have participated in training because it is a job requirement © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 49
  • 50. And this training pays off – nearly half say clients seek their services for specialized skills that are hard to find Q59_2: What would you say are the top three reasons clients seek your freelance services? n= 848 46% 40% 35% 35% 28% 22% I have a specialized set of skills that are hard to find in many places My services are less expensive than it would be to do the work in house I have a breadth of experience from working with multiple clients I have a deep level of expertise stemming from a long career in my field I have a specialized set of skills that businesses don’t always need outside of specific projects I have more training than a typical employee I have a specialized set of skills that are hard to find in many places My services are less expensive than it would be to do the work in-house I have a breadth of experience from working with multiple clients I have a deep level of expertise stemming from a long career in my field I have a specialized set of skills that businesses don’t always need outside of specific projects I have more training than a typical employee Top reasons clients seek your freelance services [Independent Contractors and Freelance Business Owners] © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 50
  • 51. Half of freelancers say they wouldn’t go back to a traditional job, no matter how much they’re offered Q29a: In the past, did you quit or leave a job with an employer in order to freelance? n=2,049 Q50e. How much more would a traditional job with an employer need to pay in order for you to definitely take that traditional job and stop freelancing? n = 2,049 24% 2% 5% 8% 6% 5% 50% How much more would a traditional job with an employer need to pay in order for you to definitely take that traditional job and stop freelancing? [Freelancers] $50,000- $99,999 $100K+ There is no amount of money where I would definitely take a traditional job >$5,000 $5,000- $9,999 $10,000- $19,999 $20,000- $49,000 <$5,000 22%of freelancers have quit a job with an employer in order to freelance © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 51
  • 52. Non-freelancers are increasingly open to freelancing Yes 81% No 19% Would you be willing to do additional work outside of your primary job if it was available and enabled you to make more money? [Non-freelancers] Q21. Would you be willing to do additional work outside your primary job(s) if it was available and enabled you to make more money? n = 3,953 +1 pt from 2014 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 52
  • 53. Q11: Do you have an employer (i.e. a company that employs you)? n=6,002 Q12: Do you have more than one employer, job, or contract project? n=4,134 Q13: Do you do any work outside of your primary position to supplement your income or earn additional money? n=3,293 Q37. Have you ever considered quitting your primary job in order to work completely independently? (Moonlighters) =503 Yes 37% No 63% Have you considered quitting your job in order to work completely independently? 13.5 Million Moonlighters Workers with a primary employer who have done work outside of their main job to earn additional money within the past year If these Moonlighters quit their jobs, that would be nearly 5M New Independent Contractors Many individuals currently freelancing part-time are thinking about making the leap to independence +1 pt from 2014 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 53
  • 55. While the majority of freelancers identify as part-time, the number of full-time freelancers is on the rise Full-time freelancer 25% Part-time freelancer 51% Full-time employee who earns extra income from freelance work 19% Other 5% Which of the following best describes your current freelance work? [Freelancers] Q31: Which of the following best describes your current freelance work? n = 2,049 -8 pts from 2014 +1 pts from 2015 +8 pts from 2014 -1 pts from 2015 Consistent with 2014 Consistent with 2015 Consistent with 2014 -1 pts from 2015 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 55
  • 56. The gender split among freelancers is fairly even 54% 46% 53% 47% Male Female What gender do you more closely identify with? Freelancers U.S. workers overall Q1: What gender do you more closely identify with? Freelancers n = 2,049; U.S. workers overall n = 6,002 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 56
  • 57. More millennials and members of Gen Z are freelancing than any other age group 53% 57% 66% 72% 72% 47% 43% 34% 28% 28% 18-21 22-34 35-44 45-54 55+ Freelance Participation by Age Non-Freelancers Freelancers Q2: What is your current age? n = n = 6,002 © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 57
  • 58. Freelancers come from a variety of educational backgrounds 32% 15% 14% 24% 15% 31% 16% 14% 25% 14% HS grad or less Some college but no degree Associate degree Bachelor's degree Post grad What is the highest level of school you have completed? Freelancers U.S. Workers Overall © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 58Q68: What is the highest level of school you have completed or the highest degree you have received? n = 6,002
  • 59. Freelancers live all over the country – in cities, suburbs and rural areas 16% 20% 40% 24% 18% 22% 37% 23% Northeast Midwest South West What region do you live in? Freelancers U.S. Workers Overall 35% 47% 18% 31% 50% 19% Urban Suburban Rural What type of area do you currently live in? Freelancers U.S. Workers Overall © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 59Q70: What state do you live in? n = 6,002 Q71: What type of area do you currently live in? n = 6,002
  • 60. Freelancers are slightly more racially/ethnically diverse than U.S. workers overall 65% 16% 11% 5% 3% 68% 14% 10% 6% 2% White Hispanic or Latino African or African descent Asian-American/ Asian All others Which of the following best describes your ethnicity, racial background or heritage? Freelancers U.S. Workers Overall © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 60Q3A: Which of the following best describes your ethnicity, racial background or heritage? n = 6,002
  • 62. U.S. Workers Overall: U.S. adults 18+ who have earned income from work within the past 12 months, including both freelancers and non-freelancers. Freelancers: Individuals who have engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months. Full-Time Freelancers: Individuals that describe their current freelance work status as “full-time freelancer.” Part-Time Freelancers: Individuals that describe their current freelance work status as “part-time freelancer.” Non-Freelancers: Individuals who earned income through work but have not engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months. Non-Freelancers Employed Full-time: Individuals that describe their current work status as “employed full-time” and do not do any additional work outside of their primary job to supplement their income. Glossary © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 62
  • 63. This study commissioned by: © COPYRIGHT 2016 DANIEL J EDELMAN INC. | 63 Upwork Upwork is the world’s largest freelancing website. As an increasingly connected and independent workforce goes online, knowledge work —like software, shopping and content before it— is shifting online as well. This shift is making it easier for clients to connect and work with talent in near real-time and is freeing professionals everywhere from having to work at a set time and place. Freelancers are earning more than $1 billion annually via Upwork. Upwork is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with offices in San Francisco and Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit www.upwork.com, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Freelancers Union Freelancers Union’s 300,000 members believe all workers should have the freedom to build meaningful, connected, and independent lives – backed by a system of mutual and public support. More than one in three working Americans is an independent worker. That’s 55 million people – and growing. They are lawyers and nannies, graphic designers and temps. Freelancers Union serves the needs of this growing independent sector. For more information, visit www.freelancersunion.org.
  • 64. For more details go to: www.upwork.com/i/freelancinginamerica2016

Editor's Notes

  1. IC: 40% in 2014; 36% in 2015 DW: 18% in 2014; 26% in 2015 Moonlighters: 27% in 2014; 25% in 2015 Temps: 10% in 2014; 9% in 2015 F Biz Owners: 5% in 2014; 5% in 2015 Increase in diversified workers was primarily between 2014 & 2015, driven by increased participation in sharing economy. Only a 2 pt increase from 2015 to 2016. For reference, numbers in charts are rounded and total over 100%
  2. Methodology: 1) Calculated the average income from freelancing for each of the 5 freelance segments using Q31_2 “Over the past year, how much money did you earn in total from freelancing, before taxes or other deductions?” 2) Calculated estimated # of freelancers per segment using freelancer flowchart and BLS workforce estimate (August 2016 Employment Situation) 3) Multiplied the average income per segment x estimated # of freelancers per segment to get total contribution per segment 4) Added contributions from all 5 segments to get total estimated income contribution from freelancers overall
  3. SD: On this slide, my narrative called for a 3rd party stat on "job durations going down." Or a stat on the decline of corporate loyalty would work here as well. But it should be smaller on bottom, with our study being the main focus. Upwork will look for relevant stats. Better idea: Have these stats as speaking points rather than on the slide.
  4. Q77- did not ask in 2014
  5. 2014: Wording same as 2015/16
  6. Qtext did not change from 2014-2016
  7. Q29b: Qtext changed from 2014 – “Q29: Do you make more or less money now than you did before you started doing freelance work?” Showing top 2 box, “a lot more + somewhat more” Comparison: Did not ask in Q29c in 2014, +1pt from 2015
  8. Q60: Question in 2014 worded as “Q59: Have you ever done a freelance project online – meaning work that you found and performed via the Internet” (42% in 2014) Q61: Q text did not change in 2014/15 Compared to 2014 – we saw a 6pt increase in the # of people who said it takes them 4-6 days so our # for less than 3 days isn’t as positive (down 6pts)
  9. Q text stayed the same 2014-2016. 2014, however, did not include the following answer choices: social media, online freelance marketplaces, specialized freelance websites
  10. Qtext did not change from 2014-2016 +5pts from 2015 +1pt from 2014
  11. 2014: Q31_Which of the following descriptions best describes your current freelance role