America's Freelance Workforce Is Booming, And So Is The Pay


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REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce - that's 42 million workers - are considered independent workers, according the Freelancers Union.


And this number is growing rapidly.

By 2020, freelancers are expected to make up 40% of the entire workforce by 2020.

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There were 50,000 new U.S.-based freelance jobs in September and 32,000 new people looking for those jobs, according to an employment report on freelancers released today by online staffing firm Elance. This is good news for these workers: job growth outpaces job seeker growth by 7%.

Last month, earnings for freelancers topped $6.8 million, a 72% growth since the prior year.


And freelancer wages are growing at a healthy clip. Hourly wages have increased by 5%, which when compared to BLS' wage growth, Elance found freelancers wages are increasing ten times faster than traditional wages.

Elance found that more traditional jobs are moving online with a large growth spike in accounting (134%) and legal (49%). Below is a chart illustrating earnings by job category:

California, Texas, and Florida have the most people looking for new freelance work. Texas has the highest growth in new freelancers looking for work compared to last year.


California is creating the most new freelance jobs, but it looks like Texas needs to up its game to cater to its freelance workers.

Turns out, the biggest increase in freelance hiring takes place in Nevada with a 103% growth, followed by Mississippi with an 82% growth since last year. These states also have high unemployment rates with Nevada being the highest in the nation at 9.5% and Mississippi, which has an unemployment rate of 8.5%