side hustle

New Research Shows One in Five Freelancers Working a ‘Side-Hustle’

New research on the freelance jobs marketplace shows more people have turned to freelancing alongside employed jobs during the pandemic.

  • Nearly 1 in 5 freelancers (19%) are self-employed as a side-hustle alongside an employee position.
  • Nearly two-fifths of side-hustlers (37%) said they started  freelancing in the last 12 months.
  • 98% of side-hustlers plan to continue freelancing in some form – with 13% saying they plan to take their side-gig full-time.

Nearly one in five freelancers (19%) are now self-employed as a side-hustle alongside an employee position. Nearly two fifths of these (37%) said they started freelancing in the last 12 months, suggesting a spike in the number of side-hustlers during the pandemic.  Nearly a quarter (24%) of those freelancers surveyed also said they had gone into self-employment to add to their main income.

The research also suggests this trend will continue, with 98% of side-hustlers saying they plan to continue freelancing in some form. Of these, 13% said they planned to take their side-gig full-time, 22% said they planned to work part-time as a freelancer and 33% said they would continue freelancing alongside a full-time employee position.

People’s motivations for taking up a freelancing are overwhelmingly positive, with over half (55%) citing desiring greater flexibility and over two fifths (44%) saying they wanted to increase their income.

During the pandemic, PeoplePerHour has seen its biggest rise in registrations for more than a decade. Almost a quarter of a million (227,000) people applied to use the platform in 2020, up from 136,000 in 2019.  Globally, it was a similar story with a 61% jump in freelancer registrations on the platform.

Of those people who signed up to the platform in 2020, over a third said they did so because they lost their job or were furloughed due to COVID-19, 40% wanted to increase their income, and 20% wanted to switch to freelancing full-time.

PeoplePerHour surveyed over 1000 freelancers nationwide across a range of industries including, writing and translation, digital marketing, design, technology and programming, and social media.

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