A new report from Upwork shows that the freelancer population has reached historic highs.
According to the analysis, 60 million Americans participated in some form of freelance work this year, making up 39% of the total workforce and growing 3% from last year.
Freelancers were also found to have added $1.35 trillion to the economy, with 51% working within the knowledge industry such as IT and computer programming.
Not only has the mere number of freelancers grown, but perceptions about these professionals have also improved. The study shows that 73% of respondents are more optimistic of using freelancing as a career, a 5% increase from 2021.
“Freelancing continues to gain popularity among skilled professionals as more people evaluate their priorities and values around work,” said Margaret Lilani, vice president of talent solutions at Upwork.
“The 9-to-5, in-office, single employer model is not what all people want anymore. Instead, freelancing allows professionals to build meaningful careers with the work and clients that they choose, and many are taking advantage of this opportunity.”
Moving forward, it’s likely that freelancers will become a steadier part of the workforce. By doing so, workers can continue to diversify their revenue and skill sets, while companies are able to reduce costs by not hiring a full-time employee for specific projects.