Wrong! 5 Myths of the Freelance Marketplace Debunked

October 13, 2016 Michelle Madden

people sitting at a table in coffee shop working

The rise of the independent worker is unprecedented and having a massive impact on the way we work and the way companies get work done.  Companies that may have historically only hired freelancers for more junior assignments, are now getting freelance help in the C-suite with seasoned professionals.

Here are 5  myths of the freelance marketplace debunked and set straight.

Myth #1:  It’s not that big

The freelance market in the US  is comprised of 55 MM people  (up 2MM since 2014), and has grown by over 50% since 2005. In 2016, the freelance market will contribute $1 Trillion dollars to the US economy. The job tenure data supports the evidence of this trend too, just 2 years ago the average number of years in a job was 4.6 years, it is now 4.2 years.

Part of this rise is due to the existence of millennials who are a large part of the work force ( 50% by 2020) and are embracing greater career independence — 38% of millennials are working independently.

Myth #2:  It’s mainly lower wage earners

The industry certainly began with lower wage earners offering services such as driving, cleaning, shopping, errand-running, but it is rapidly moving up the wage curve. The fastest growing segment is actually those people making over $100k a year. There has been a 50% increase in this segment in the past 5 years.

Myth #3:  Workers freelance because they can’t get a “real” job

70% of independent workers say they have selected freelancing by choice. Over half of this group, freelance for supplemental income, while the others are self proclaimed “free agents” who derive all of their income from working independently. 79% of all freelancers say that freelancing is better than working a traditional job.

Myth #4:  Supply is larger than demand

The growth is no doubt being driven in part by workers choosing to be independent, but an equally strong force is companies who are finding greater value in independent workers. “In the next five years, we expect the demand for talent to deliver on new capabilities, to significantly outstrip supply; for agile skills, demand could be four times supply”,  a recent McKinsey article stated.

By 2020, there is expected to be a 40 million shortfall globally of high-skilled workers. As competition grows and the pace of change for companies intensifies, the need for expert, agile talent who can deliver immediate, high-impact results, has never been stronger.

Myth #5:  The matchmaking is happening online

Most hook ups are still happening the old fashioned way. Only 15% of freelancers use digital platforms to find work. For companies like BTG that are built on providing an easy, friction-less experience for talent and companies, this is music to our ears as it suggests that the opportunities for a digital marketplace to serve the needs of the talent and the companies eager to source them, is underdeveloped – and immense.

 

Do you have a project our independent talent can help you with?

Introducing the New Talent Economy

Learn how to put the gig economy to work on your top business initiatives.

GET THE EBOOK

Previous Article
The Rise of the Independent Economy is a Win for All
The Rise of the Independent Economy is a Win for All

The growth of the independent economy is dramatic and permanent and having a profound impact not only on th...

Next Article
Why Passion Is Overrated
Why Passion Is Overrated

Our CEO Jody Miller is passionate about the company she founded (BTG) and passionate about the industry tha...

×

Get the latest BTG news and insights.

Industry
Country
I would like to receive the latest expert insights and news from Business Talent Group.
View our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy
Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!