Pandemic Causes Significant Surge in Freelancers

Online freelance marketplace PeoplePerHour has witnessed a 60% increase in freelancers joining in the last year:

  • More than 227,000 Brits applied as freelancers in 2020, up 60% from 2019
  • 97% of those who have started freelancing in the last year plan to do so beyond the pandemic
  • 1 in 4 turning to freelancing due to lost of employment

Prompted by the Coronavirus pandemic, over 227,000 people applied to use PeoplePerHour in 2020, up from 136,000 in 2019, this is it’s biggest rise in registrations for more than decade.  Globally, it was a similar story with a 61% jump in freelancer registrations on their website.

In research conducted in March for the platform, one in four who signed up during the last year said they decided to become freelance after losing their job.  According to the research, nearly 40% of those surveyed have become full-time freelancers, nearly 30% are part time and close to one fifth are freelancing alongside a permanent job.

Further, the research reveals that motivation for freelancing is different between men and women.  In the UK, a third (32%) of the women questioned cited flexibility as the main reason for turning freelance in 2020. However, flexibility was less important to men compared to income generation.  Just one in five men cited flexibility as their top priority, versus 44% who said it was to increase their income.

The research also discovered 1 in 10 made the move to freelancing because they had been furloughed with 52% of that group saying they’d done so to earn more money and one in six (17%) aiming to take their career in a new direction.

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